Monday, March 2, 2009

If You're Not On One of These 10 Roads to Riches, You're Heading Toward the Poorhouse

I'm reading a book called The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too) by Ken Fisher.

It's time for African-American women to finally leave Fantasy Island and face reality. My Dad taught me that in real life there's no such thing as treading water. If you're not moving forward, you're falling behind. And it's just a matter of time until you drown. In the current economy, this means that if you're not working to build wealth, you're working to become poor. The days of being able to rely on "good jobs" are OVER.

Furthermore, I've been reading disturbing reports comparing this current depression not to the Great Depression of the 1930s, but to the Long Depression of the late 19th century. The Long Depression lasted from 1873-1896! What if the current economic tailspin goes on for the next 20 years? What will you do?

Here are the ten roads to riches that Mr. Fisher lays out. [My comments are in blue.]:

"1. Start a successful business---the richest road! [This is a hard road, but the most promising one in terms of the odds, and level, of success.]

2. Become CEO of an existing firm and juice it---a very mechanical function. [Not very likely for the vast majority of Black women.]

3. Hitch to a successful visionary's wagon and ride along---it's high value-added. [Translation: Look for a winner to "to drag you along through his or her success." Look for a winning CEO, entrepreneur, etc. to play sidekick to, and ride along with.]

4. Turn celebrity into wealth---or wealth into celebrity and then more wealth! [The odds are not in favor of this option. Black folks need to let go of "hoop dreams" and "hip-hop dreams" and focus our energy on things that have greater chances of success.]

5. Marry well---really, really well. [I strongly urge every African-American woman to pursue this option, along with another road to wealth. As Evia has often pointed out, it's just as easy to love a wealthy man as a poor man. Women from every ethnic group EXCEPT African-American women seem to understand this basic fact.

This is why other women look to marry well, and thereby ensure the future of any children they have. Meanwhile, many AA children are in the condition described by Min. Farrakhan as "naked, hungry, and out of doors." This is because their mothers did NOT marry well. Or marry at all. And their mothers had these children by men who aren't going anywhere productive in life.]

6. Steal it, legally---no guns necessary! [Translation: Practice law. Ouch! I would say that the odds of this option panning out are not promising for the vast majority of Black female attorneys. For a variety of reasons,which are too many to get into here. ]

7. Capitalize on other people's money (OPM)---where most of the mega-rich are. [Translation: Manage other people's money. A lot of it.]

8. Invent an endless future revenue stream---even if you're not an inventor! [The author explains that this doesn't only mean actually inventing something like Post-Its; it also means making "an annuity-like future cash flow from something that you create, own or patent that just keeps spewing cash. A gadget, book, song, movie, or even experience." The Ten Roads to Riches, Amazon Kindle Locations 2552-69.]

9. Trump the land barons by monetizing unrealized real estate wealth! [Translation: Building skscrapers---Umm, not in this economy. Or collecting rent as a landlord---Yep! People will always need somewhere to live.]

10. Go down the Road More Traveled---save hard, invest well---forever! [The idea of trying to scrimp your way to wealth sounds crazy to me. I have heard of elderly people who had accumulated huge sums of money over many decades with U.S. Savings Bonds, but they were all too old to enjoy it. What's the point of that? Also, all of this was before the current economic depression.]

Follow one of these ten roads. Or a combination . . . If you can do two at once it's faster. Harder, but faster." The Ten Roads to Riches, Amazon Kindle Locations 146-55 through 155-68.

Which roads to riches are you willing to follow?

Which roads to riches are you preparing yourself to follow?

Which roads to riches are you already following?

98 comments:

cami said...

Let me first say that I love your blog. I am currently 19 and in college and it has been emotionally reassuring that there are other black women out there who think like me. I used to think that I was odd. I was told on numerous occasions that I think like "white girl" just because I want to marry well and become successful. I have heard of Ken Fisher's book before. I wanted to hear your thoughts on why you think the majority of black female attorneys would not become wealthy ( I am considering a career in corporate law and I am looking for information/feedback from everywhere). All of the other suggestions were great too.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Cami!

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

You said, "I wanted to hear your thoughts on why you think the majority of black female attorneys would not become wealthy ( I am considering a career in corporate law and I am looking for information/feedback from everywhere)."

Here are the many reasons why, in no particular order (since each factor interacts with, and multiplies the negative effects of the other factors that apply to BF attorneys):

Reason #1-"Good" legal jobs are disappearing, just like other "good jobs."

1a-There are already far too many attorneys competing for an ever-shrinking number of legal jobs. The economy is folding, corporations are folding. These corporations are laying off large numbers of their in-house counsel.

They're laying off lawyers. They're not looking to hire new, inexperienced ones. Especially when they can hire experienced, jobless attorneys for the same reduced salaries that they would pay somebody fresh out of law school.

1b-The "good government" legal jobs are downsizing also. Government has traditionally employed the bulk of Black professionals. This is because Whites refuse to patronize Black professionals. And Blacks refuse to patronize Black professionals.

The same large numbers of experienced, jobless attorneys are also competing for an ever-shrinking pool of government legal jobs. Both the local prosecutor's office AND the local government defense office in my area laid off attorneys a few years ago. Meanwhile, the local government budget problems continue.

Reason #2-Whites won't hire Black professionals. And neither will Blacks. When Blacks do hire Black attorneys, they don't want to pay them. Blacks won't patronize Black businesses in general. This also applies to Black professionals.

Let me repeat what I said in another thread:

"Speaking in reference to my own ethnic group only, the reality is that AAs don't and, for the most part, WON'T support a business if we know that it is Black-owned.

I always knew that if I wanted to start my own firm, I would need to hire a White attorney to pretend to by my partner, and to be the main public "face" of my firm.

It is well known by other ethnic groups that AAs WON'T patronize Black professionals. Over the years, I've had several White [Jewish] colleagues approach me and offer to be the White "front" if I ever decided to start my own practice. [For a percentage of the fees, of course.]

I always knew that if I ever wanted to open a grocery store in the Black community, I would need to hire an Arab to be the "front person." Or, as my friends would tease me, I needed to wear hijab so that my hair never showed, and try to pretend to be an Arab.

The successful Black businesses located in Black areas (that I'm aware of) tend to be undercover about being Black-owned. If the owner is actually working on the premises (such as with a gas station, laundromat, etc.), he pretends to be just an employee.

This is the informal 'rule' if a Black person wants to operate a SUCCESSFUL business in Black residential areas in the US. The only exceptions to the rule are hair salons and barbershops.

Most AAs will only patronize a business if they think that it's NOT Black-owned.

Other than hiding the fact that it's Black-owned, the other route to success for a Black business is to have a "faceless" business such as selling e-books, etc. online. These sorts of businesses do NOT depend on Black support and are geared to get some of everybody's money.

Bottom line in the US context: For the most part, non-Blacks won't patronize a business if they know that it is Black-owned. And Blacks won't either."


The same behavior applies accross the economic board. Black business owners generally WON'T hire Black accountants, lawyers, etc. Black entertainers and sports figures WON'T hire Black agents, accountants, lawyers, trainers, etc.

I've seen several comical situations where the Negro professional complaining that Negroes won't hire him ALSO does not retain other Black professionals for his needs.

A Negro personal trainer that I (unwittingly) hired years ago had this issue. He whined that the Negro football players he knew wouldn't hire him. Yet, HE didn't hire any Black professionals to service his business needs.

He also had a fixation on White women, incidentally. He didn't like it when I told him that perhaps the football players "didn't see color" and felt that "people were people."

[Which were all the excuses he used for chasing after White women ONLY.] {chuckling} I never would have initially hired him, if I had known all of this about him at the beginning.

Anyway, on those rare occasions when Blacks do hire Black attorneys, they don't want to pay. And Blacks like to come to Black lawyers with nonsense that we DON'T dare approach White lawyers with---such as "Can I get a payment plan? Can I pay you in installments of $10.00/week?"

White attornyes (quite reasonably) typically require huge chunks of money upfront to even consider taking a case. As in thousands of dollars upfront. Which Black clients will pay them without any hassles (especially Jewish attorneys).

I've overheard a colored female attempting to play a similar game with a local Black spa owner. She wanted to throw a spa party for her friends (translation: show off), but didn't want to pay the full price.

While waiting for my massage, I overheard the owner patiently explaining to her that she was not in a position to haggle over the prices because there were various other parties involved (caterers, etc.) that had to be compensated for their efforts.

And that these other parties DO NOT haggle over the fees that they charge the spa owner. It was insane. And some mess that I knew this colored girl would NEVER have tried at a White-owned spa.

For all of the above reasons, there are very few Black firms with more than 2-3 attorneys. The few that do exist tend to get the bulk of their money from government-related contracts that are the result of personal political ties. Government budgets are shrinking, like everything else.

Most Black attorneys that I know in the Chicago areas who are in private practice are scuffling and hustling for all of the above reasons. They spend the bulk of their time chasing down their clients for their money. Collection issues take up a LOT of their time.

The Black attorneys I know who don't have to scuffle are doing better financially because they are hiding behind a White "front" partner. The White "front" gets the business, and the Black attorney does the actual work.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Let me add the following for those aspiring doctors, dentists, and orthodontists out there:

Before you weigh yourself down with crippling professional school debt, you need to talk to some Black doctors, dentists, etc. about the current realities of working in these fields.

It's been my bystander's observation that this HMO-ization of America has changed the nature of these practices. Many (if not most) employee health plans are connected to HMOs. That means that large chunks of potential patients (especially those who work for the government like teachers, postal workers, etc.) are hooked into the HMO system.

The HMO system can have the (intentional?) side effect of diminishing the opportunities for Black doctors. I know a couple of Black doctors who were not able to come to an agreement and renew their contract with a particular HMO.

That meant that they were no longer working under the auspices of that particular HMO. That meant that they no longer had access to the HUGE pools of patients serviced by that HMO (such as the legions of Chicago Board of Education employees, etc.).

Of those of us who have medical benefits, how many of us can afford to see a doctor, dentist, etc. WITHOUT going through our HMO? If a particular Black doctor is not part of our HMO group, we're not going to pay on our own to see him/her. It's that simple.

It's not like the old days, where a doctor hangs his shingle and the patients just randomly come by. Modern patients are going to go where their HMO sends them. And they're going to see a doctor who is approved by their HMO.

Do you see my point with this? This means that these HMOs are in a position to effectively cut doctors/dentists off from LARGE pools of potential patients. I would assume that this side effect of the HMO-ization of medicine affects Black medical professionals the most.

This is because I doubt that White patients are actively looking to go to a Black doctor/dentist. And Black patients/consumers are also generally not likely to actively seek out a Black doctor/dentist.

This is quite different than what the practice of medicine was like BEFORE the HMOs.

Don't get me wrong. These are still high-salaried professions. However, I would imagine that the working conditions (opportunities for true professional freedom, etc.) are NOT at all the same as before.

High-salaries can be a trickbag of their own. You only get paid as long as you keep performing medical procedures. [Or in a law firm, as long as you generate "billable hours."] There are only so many medical procedures that you can perform in one day. [There are only so many "billable hours" in a day.]

You are still working for your money, instead of making passive income. True financial freedom comes from passive income where your money, investments, etc. are working for you. Where you make money while you're asleep and on vacation.

Short version: You need to talk to people who are in these fields before you strap on that sack of debt and jump in!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

Khadija,

Re your comment about careers in the medical foeld. My father is a pediatrician who has been able to maintain a very successful practice on the black side of town in Lafayette, La. for almost 30 years. These ar some factors that from my observation led to his succes:

1. He is the only black pediatrician in a midsize southern town

2. He was willing to take medicaid patients when the white doctors were not.

3. He focused on serving the needs of the poor, who could not find quality care anywhere else, meaning that he included poor whites and others, not just blacks

4. He is a very good doctor, who can diagnose and treat a variety of ailments, not just in his specialty of pediatrics

5. He is somewhat of a community "celebrity" who is well known for his level of care and professionalism, as well as caring about the needs of underserved children

6. He was willing to make his prices affordable for those who made too much to qualify for Medicaid, but could not afford medical insurance (the working poor).

These are the factors that I believe lead to his success, inspite of the difficulty that most black professionals have in starting a business. Like I said above, a majority of my father's patiens were poor. Middle class blacks WILL NOT patronize black businesses AT ALL, at least in my hometown. Even some of those so-called radical black activists were bringing their children and grandchildren to white doctors.

Peace and solidarity,

Tasha

Beverly said...

Khadija asked:


Which roads to riches are you willing to follow?

My response:

I'm willing to...

1. Invent an endless future revenue stream.

2. Monetize unrealized real estate wealth.

3. Save hard and invest well.

4. Marry Well

5. Hitch to a successful visionary's wagon and ride along.

Khadija asked:

Which roads to riches are you already following?

My response:

I'm currently creating an endless revenue stream through my books and stories and I have a client who is a "superstar" in his field. I'm currently benefiting greatly from working with the client. My books and stories are still in development; but I have already created one product that created passive income for me; but not a lot about $600 a year.

Oh, one more thing. I save hard, but I haven't quite figured out the invest part yet. LOL

Tracy said...

Lessee, I think I'll do the celebrity thing - when my books come out, I will do a working tour. Then of course the DVD, Oprah and Tyra appearances...

Then I will meet a rich, sucessful man who will at first invest in my business and then fall in love and marry me.....

Now, K, before you admonish me, It happens all the time!! The reason I started the weight loss story books was because Border's and B&N are full of em! And they all had the same ending - lost the weight, got the life on track, got the man, bla bla!

So, like Cami, I'm gonna think like a White Girl - nah, scratch that, like a White Guy - and do this thang!

See ya on tv next year!! lol!

Great post as usual!!

Khadija said...

Greetings, Tasha212!

Thank you so much for your first-hand observations of what strategies your father used to make his practice a successful one.

You said, "He was willing to take medicaid patients when the white doctors were not."

From what I could tell (talking to the Black nurses and doctors I know), there were a LOT of White doctors who didn't want to be involved with Medicaid patients at the beginning. Then, as they saw how lucrative that could be, they starting servicing such patients.

This White willingness to service Medicaid patients just so happened at the point when the federal government just so happened to start indicting Black doctors and dentists left & right for Medicaid fraud.

This was sometime around 1989-1991. I recall hearing several interviews with representatives from various local Black medical and dental society chapters complaining about this federal witchhunt of Black doctors/dentists. This was when the syndicated, national Black talk show "Night Talk With Bob Law" was on the air. [See how important Black talk radio used to be?]

You said, "He focused on serving the needs of the poor, who could not find quality care anywhere else, meaning that he included poor whites and others, not just blacks."

This is critical! Whatever we're doing, we must position ourselves to get money from everybody. Not just Blacks.

You said, "Like I said above, a majority of my father's patiens were poor. Middle class blacks WILL NOT patronize black businesses AT ALL, at least in my hometown."

Truth be told, poor Blacks won't usually patronize Black doctors, etc. either. Your dad simply caught these poor Blacks at a time when they were a "captive audience" and had nowhere else they could go for medical care. It sounds like the poor patients developed the habit of seeing your dad (after the initial captive audience phase). Good for your dad.

You said, " Even some of those so-called radical black activists were bringing their children and grandchildren to white doctors."

Lord have mercy. The madness extends across the board. Even in situations where one would have expected better of the person. {sigh}
_________________

Greetings, Beverly!

You said, "I'm currently creating an endless revenue stream through my books and stories and I have a client who is a "superstar" in his field. I'm currently benefiting greatly from working with the client. My books and stories are still in development; but I have already created one product that created passive income for me; but not a lot about $600 a year."

YES! YES! YES! Now that's what I'm talking about! {raised fist salute} Every bit helps, and it adds up! You're on your way!
_____________________

Greetings, Tracy!

You said, "Now, K, before you admonish me, It happens all the time!!"

{chuckling} I LIKE bold goals. There's a saying that I believe is true much of the time, "Fortune favors the bold." I like such goals as long as one has an actual plan to turn them into reality; and is actually working the plan. {more chuckling}

An information marketer that I admire [Mike Masterson] has often remarked that, after studying the question, he's found that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to truly master a skill.

10,000 hours to become fluent in another language.

10,000 hours to get a black belt.

He mentioned the experience of a single, 30-something [White] woman he knew who decided to apply the same principle to getting married. She made the point of putting herself in settings to meet more men, thereby going out on more dates, and ultimately getting married.

I've heard another successful person express a similar thought. The extremely successful Black science fiction author/screenwriter Steven Barnes [look him up on the Internet Movie Data Base---the man has been busy getting published] has said a similar thing: He said that you only become a good writer AFTER you've written a million words of crappy material.

This is why he advocates that aspiring writers simply start writing, and get their million words of crap out of the way early in the game.

Mr. Barnes has a blog. I can't read much of it because I find him to be an annoying individual. He's the sort of Negro that spent decades obsessed with White women. Currently, he's married to Black author Tannarive Due.

It sounds like he was so busy chasing White folks, that he never bothered to seriously mentor anybody Black along the way. Then he whines about "Why isn't there anybody Black following in my footsteps?" like it's a mystery.

Nevertheless, I've found his insights and writing course ["Lifewriting"] to be extremely useful. I don't like him, but he has accomplished some of the things that I would like to do, so I listen to what he has to say.

Peace, blessings and soldarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Greetings Khadija!

This is an intriguing list of options!

I think that marrying well takes some strategy and it also requires certain "packaging". Wealthy men see their wife choice as a decision about his image. I believe that black women need to pay close attention to the public image that a man is attempting to project IF they are planning to marry "up".

I think that many times, black women think that the way to attract a man is by fetishizing themselves...this works in the ghetto...it won't work in circles where men are international diplomats and corporate chiefs.

Starting a business is always an option to pursue and there are many internet business options that can be explored. Many people shop on the internet now.

My white dad told me that many white guys take advantage of tax breaks by DELIBERATELY starting businesses that will fail. I don't advise that black women pursue this strategy however.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Khadija said...

Greetings, Lisa!

You said, "I think that marrying well takes some strategy and it also requires certain "packaging". Wealthy men see their wife choice as a decision about his image. I believe that black women need to pay close attention to the public image that a man is attempting to project IF they are planning to marry "up"."

Exactly! A succesful man views the woman he chooses to put on his arm as an extension of HIS professional/public image. Such a man WON'T pick a non-"Flawless" woman. ALL roads with this particular option lead back to the self-cultivation & self-improvement that so many BW want to resist!

Barack O. let Michelle slide with packaging herself in a dowdy, matronly, and unattractive manner for MANY years throughout his political career here in Chicago.

Either "Barry" truly "loves her dirty drawers," OR he was equally confused about what is and is not appropriate. This will NOT play with the vast majority of ambitious, productive men!

You said, "I think that many times, black women think that the way to attract a man is by fetishizing themselves...this works in the ghetto...it won't work in circles where men are international diplomats and corporate chiefs."

TRUE! There are a whole other set of norms that BW must learn in order to successfully navigate arenas that are outside the ghetto, and outside all-Black social settings.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

roslynholcomb said...

I can't advocate becoming an e-book romance/erotica writer strongly enough. I needed to make some income while staying at home with my young son, and this field has proved invaluable. At a time when other publishers are hurting e-books are taking off like crazy. Even more importantly, they're looking for writers to do interracial/multi-cultural books.

Unlike traditional publishers where the writer only gets 8% in royalties, with e-pubs you get 35-40%. I know at least one writer who said she made more in one month with an e-publisher than she did in a whole year with a print book!

Most e-publishers pay you each month. With mine, Loose-Id I receive my royalty payment by direct deposit regular as clockwork. You have to really be able to produce, but if you do, you can earn big. (For instance, my last full-length book came out in September, I've finished three others since then.) I know of several people who've been able to quit their day jobs.

Bit of advice, stick with the big boys, Ellora's Cave, Samhain and Loose-Id. Too many other publishers are fly-by-night, these guys have been around for a minute and are great to deal with. You do all submissions online and their turnaround time is tremendous. If you have any more questions about it, hit me up.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Roslyn!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for giving detailed insider's information about becoming an e-book romance/erotica author.

Ladies, the internet is still WIDE OPEN for making money from customers around the world. Electronic banking and automatic currency conversions are wonderful things!

I'm convinced that it won't remain wide open. I hope I'm wrong, but I believe that the larger monopolies will eventually figure out a way to lock it down and freeze out small companies. The time to get in is NOW, before windows of opportunity start closing.

What Roslyn is describing is the beauty and power of passive income. You do something ONCE (write a specific e-book) and keep getting paid for that same e-book over and over again each time it sells!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Tracy said...

@Khadija

Thank you , thank you , thank you !! (Jumping for Joy!!)!

Well, I'm on my way with both the writing and the dating!! Match.com is sick of me already! I'm not quitting til I get my own commercial!

And Roslyn! Thank you squared for the advice - I was looking at Wicked Women of Color e-books, are they fly by nite?

Let me get back to my 10,000! Thank you both again for the clarity - This is a great blog!!

Peace!

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Hi Khadija: Another good kick in the rear!
13589 is my new number. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket! I'm working on all of them right now. Thanks keep it coming!

ActsofFaithBlog said...

I'm reading the comments and it makes me wonder: what is WRONG with black people? I had a black pediatrician growing up thank goodness. When I was older I spoke with her and her husband (in practice together) and they were the only Blacks in their graduating class at that time and light-skinned. It's really hard to find a Black doctor under a lot of the medical plans because they don't release that information either. I specifically asked and hit a wall. I tried but it was very frustrating!!! Supposedly law and medicine were always the safe jobs but clearly not so anymore.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Tracy!

You're welcome!

Keep it moving! {raised fist salute in admiration of your efforts}
_______________

Greetings, Faith!

Yep, I've got my own "numbers" that I'm "playing." [1,5,8, and 9] LOL!

You said, "Another good kick in the rear!" Thank you for your kind words. As much as I would like to blog about entertainment, etc. [I notice that I haven't done a dance concert post in a looong time], I feel a sense of urgency about our collective situation.

So, I find myself focusing blog posts on practical strategies that BW can use to move forward.

You said, "I'm reading the comments and it makes me wonder: what is WRONG with black people?"

Black people are fatally poisoned with unaddressed self-hatred, and lack of racial pride.

You said, "Supposedly law and medicine were always the safe jobs but clearly not so anymore."

There are NO safe jobs. There are NO "good jobs." Not anymore.

I firmly believe that this era is the Time of Reckoning across the planet. ALL of the issues that have been arrogantly ignored and "blown off" are coming back with a vengeance. From environmental pollution, to the oil dependency that Pres. Carter warned Americans about 30 years ago, to the economy. ALL of it.

This reckoning includes Black folks across the globe. Specifically in terms of AAs it includes:

1-The mass self-hatred and lack of racial pride that we've papered over with slogans about multiculturalism, biracialism, etc.
This self-hatred has metastisized into the openly Black-hating statements of creatures like Yung Berg, Ne-Yo, Kimora Lee, Tiger Woods, etc. ALL of this has come back to bite us in the buttocks.

2-The unaddressed misogyny in the Black collective. This has metastisized into OPEN, VEHEMENT support for woman-beaters like Chris Brown. Open, vehement support for pedophiles like R.Kelly.

This has also morphed into OPEN, VEHEMENT support for BM exploiting and refusing to marry BW. AAs' acceptance of unfettered misogyny has accomplished something that even slavery couldn't do: This is what has caused the FINAL DEATH of the AA family. All of this is the end result of catering to BM's wounded egos.

3-The unchallenged anti-intellectualism among the AA collective. This has morphed into AAs lifting up, and celebrating, ignorance and depravity as "acting Black."

4-The refusal to hold our (mis)leadership class accountable for their failures and trespasses. This has resulted in a current leadership cadre that is filled with jackals, buck-dancing Crossover Negro Politicians who cater to White racists, and impotent tv talking heads [i.e,. the "usual suspects" who are invited to Tavis Smiley's annual book promotion fest].

This is the time and the day when ALL of these things that we've collectively refused to address are coming to a head. All of these things will be the death of most AAs.

Most AAs will form a permanent underclass in this country. The permanent underclass "flood waters" are already around our necks, while our people continue on with business as usual.

Those few AAs who will survive and thrive despite the flood must start building Arks and/or looking for seats on somebody else's Ark. Right now!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

*Special Reader's Alert*

I forgot to give a shout-out to the EXCELLENT Black-owned spa I mentioned earlier:

VEOLA'S DAY SPA & WELLNESS CENTER
2150 West 95th Street
Chicago, IL 60643
PH# : 773-233-1304
FAX# :773-233-1327

HOURS OF OPERATION
Tuesday - Saturday
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

If you're ever in Chicago, it's worth your time to stop by there! You can find out more about Veola's at their website:

www.veolasdayspa.com


Peace and blessings,
Khadija

roslynholcomb said...

Tracy, I can't really speak about WWOC, I don't think they've been around that long. I do know that e-publishing has had a lot of people start up companies and then quickly shut down. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that they frequently file bankruptcy, and YOUR publishing rights become an asset of the company and can be tied up in bankruptcy courts FOREVER.

In e-publishing you make your money in volume, you don't want your book to be tied up in somebody's financial trouble, so choose your publisher carefully. I think some people were so eager to be published they signed with anyone who said yes. Don't make that mistake. I chose to go with people who've been around, are established and have good reputations. Check out the Preditors and Editors websites. Check out blogs like Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. They always have their ear to the ground on what's going on.

Most of us writers write because we love to do it, but we have to think of these books as a product that's worth a lot of money and act accordingly.

Nu Girl said...

5. Marry well---really, really well. [I strongly urge every African-American woman to pursue this option, along with another road to wealth. As Evia has often pointed out, it's just as easy to love a wealthy man as a poor man. Women from every ethnic group EXCEPT African-American women seem to understand this basic fact.

This one is highly risky. There are so many sisters who made investments in bm and never received a return. They "worked with a brotha" who had potential but only ended up with a lesson learned.
Perhaps we should require that men show full business plans for their lives before we invest in them?

Just a Thought.

Nu Girl

Khadija said...

Greetings, Nu Girl!

You said, "This one is highly risky. There are so many sisters who made investments in bm and never received a return. They "worked with a brotha" who had potential but only ended up with a lesson learned.
Perhaps we should require that men show full business plans for their lives before we invest in them?"


I'm so happy you raised this question. It gives me an opportunity to clarify this particular point.

"Marrying well" means marrying a man who has concrete accomplishments, NOT "potential." It means selecting a man who is ALREADY fit, willing and able to protect and provide for a woman and future children. And by "provide for," I mean provide an EXCELLENT quality of life. NOT scuffling!

BW should NOT invest in men based on what these men claim they're fixin' on, planning on, going to do. This sort of behavior is more accurately called high-stakes gambling.

As we can see from the mass condition of AA women and children, the odds of this particular form of gambling paying off are similar to the odds of winning the lottery. Slim to none.

A woman who "worked with a brotha" and never received a return on her investment did NOT choose well. Such a woman GAMBLED and LOST.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

And let me add that the key phrase in marrying well is to find a husband who is "FIT, WILLING, and ABLE" to protect and provide an excellent quality of life for his wife and children.

Many BW settle for BM who are UNABLE (poor, uneducated & scuffling) to protect and provide an excellent quality of life.

Many BW settle for BM who are UNFIT (criminals, ex-convicts) to protect and provide an excellent quality of life.

Many BW settle for BM who are UNWILLING to protect and provide an excellent quality of life. Such women settle by wasting their time with middle-class, and professional BM "players" who refuse to marry, and have to be chased to pay child support.

Let's declare a moratorium on AA women settling for the BAD quality of life that results from choosing UNFIT, UNWILLING, and UNABLE men.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting points. Thanks for the very enlightening summary of the status quo in the the Chicago legal market. I knew I wasn't crazy when I left my solo law practice and took a good job in tangential field paying a very good salary. Black people simply do not want to pay Black professionals for their services. I tried for ten years to make it work and all I ended up with was stress (to the point of hair falling out) and wasted years. I should have done the "White (Jewish) front" thing when I first started. I wonder how many of my former colleagues are making it now. And on top of it all, unfortunately Black clients did not have the type of cases that I could be passionate about (i.e., landlord-tenant, child support, domestic violence, paternity issues, sheer nonsense in general). If I had it to do over again, I would have concentrated my practice in international law.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Anonymous!

You said, "Thanks for the very enlightening summary of the status quo in the the Chicago legal market."

You're welcome!

Let me mention for the lay audience that this status quo has a negative spillover effect on the Black judges that AAs mistakenly assume will be fair.

Many Black judges are simply too AFRAID to ever say no to anything that the prosecutor's offices want. Here's why: The status quo that I described earlier means that if a Black judge ever loses their robe (by not being re-elected or re-appointed), they literally have nowhere to go!

There are NO mid-sized or large Black firms for the reasons I described above. This means that the Black judge either came from a "good job" or was scuffling in a small practice before they got their robe.

If they can't keep their robe, there's NO guarantee that a "good job" with a comparable salary will be available for them. It's NOT like White judges who can leave the bench and immediately become a partner in a huge White firm. It does NOT work like that for Black judges.

If the Black judge had been in private practice before, they closed their small practice to join the judiciary. Unless they have a close relative/friend who is an attorney to keep the small practice afloat while they're on the bench, they literally have NOWHERE to go if they lose their robe.

The prosecutor's office has a lot of influence over who is re-elected and re-appointed to the bench. Angering the prosecutor's office is not conducive to retaining one's robe.

Black judges are particularly vulnerable to these pressures because we don't have a network of thriving Black firms. [And we don't have a network of thriving Black firms because Blacks don't support Black businesses.]

I've watched so many naive Black folks' mouths drop open when the Black judge that they assumed would be fair rolls over, and does whatever the prosecutor assigned to their courtroom TELLS them to do. There's a reason for this behavior. And it's connected to the Black consumer's general boycott of Black businesses.

Anonymous, you said, "I knew I wasn't crazy when I left my solo law practice and took a good job in tangential field paying a very good salary....I tried for ten years to make it work and all I ended up with was stress (to the point of hair falling out) and wasted years."

I just praise God that you ultimately escaped. I'm looking to get out too!

You said, "I should have done the "White (Jewish) front" thing when I first started."

Yeah, it's a thought. But it has to be humiliating to do this. Even though they don't say so, I can tell that folks' spirits are dying a little bit each day by making this particular concession to Negro self-hatred and non-Black racism.

You said, "And on top of it all, unfortunately Black clients did not have the type of cases that I could be passionate about (i.e., landlord-tenant, child support, domestic violence, paternity issues, sheer nonsense in general)."

Yep, I hear you. The type of bread-and-butter "dumb s***" that most Black clients are involved in is NOT intellectually stimulating. And those Black folks who do have more interesting fare (business owners with tax law questions, etc.) do NOT hire Black attorneys.

I can't wait until I can escape from practicing law!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello All,


I am already doing #1, & 8.

I want to do #5 & 9.

#9 to me doesn't mean skyscrapers though.





RE lawyers

Does that apply to entertainment/intellectual law too?

When I needed an attorney in the above fields especially entertainment it seems like the pickings were slim in my neck of the woods.

I was referred to contract attorneys and it made my head hurt. Some entertainment contracts are complex and have industry specific lingo.

Could this not be a good area for some attorneys?






@ Roslyn Holcomb


Thank you so much for the list. I see now that there is a huge market for erotica/romance. My monitor is now steamed.

I finished my book last year and I was afraid to go with anything else I had looked into, so I went with LULU. I felt overwhelmed so that seemed like the safest/easiest option.

I saw that one of the e publishers you listed does accept nonfiction books so I will look into that. Thanks for that.




"If they can't keep their robe, there's NO guarantee that a "good job" with a comparable salary will be available for them. It's NOT like White judges who can leave the bench and immediately become a partner in a huge White firm. It does NOT work like that for Black judges."


You really have to have plan a,b,c,& d. You really have to strategize. Wow. I know that BP as a whole are not putting this level of forethought into charting their careers or destiny.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Interesting comments, and I am so sad to hear about the legal situation in Chicago and elsewhere. Hearing it from the professionals and then hearing it from our alumns who go in and then can't find jobs!

As for me, I'm investigating other possible streams of income.

An observation:

Barack O. let Michelle slide with packaging herself in a dowdy, matronly, and unattractive manner for MANY years throughout his political career here in Chicago.

Either "Barry" truly "loves her dirty drawers," OR he was equally confused about what is and is not appropriate. This will NOT play with the vast majority of ambitious, productive men!

My reply:

Perhaps he didn't see her as presenting an unattractive appearance. As far as I can tell, she kept herself in shape by having a vigorous exercise regimen.

Beyond the possibility of caring deeply about her, he might have been thinking that she has been more of an asset than a liability, in the short term and in the long term.

Granted, they tweaked things once they were getting into the national sphere, but I'd definitely rather see that than what some other men have done.

They decide that once they get where they want to go, it is time to jettison the woman who stood by them through the early years and enabled their progress, because they have a new image to maintain.

Weren't there some people of that opinion, that he doesn't need Michelle now, that they are surprised he would be with her, dark-skinned, etc.?

Khadija said...

Greetings, Aphrodite!

You said, "Does that apply to entertainment/intellectual law too?

When I needed an attorney in the above fields especially entertainment it seems like the pickings were slim in my neck of the woods.

I was referred to contract attorneys and it made my head hurt. Some entertainment contracts are complex and have industry specific lingo.

Could this not be a good area for some attorneys?"


There are a handful of Black entertainment attorneys in the US. ["rock & jock" as we called it in law school]

Let me repeat what I said earlier. "Black entertainers and sports figures WON'T hire Black agents, accountants, lawyers, trainers, etc." If fact, I vaguely recall the NAACP threatening to call for a boycott of the R&B group Cameo because they consistently refused to retain any Black professionals or vendors whatsoever during their concerts (during their heyday in the late 1980s).

You CANNOT acquire expertise in, or build a law practice off of, tasks that nobody will hire you to perform. Period. Full stop. This is the economic survival angle of building a private practice. This means that you must do what people are actually willing to pay you to do. Which, in the case of Black folks, means building a practice off of "dumb s***."

Or building a practice off of another bread-and-butter area like doing traffic cases. Traffic cases involve a higher percentage of normal, non-criminal [= more likely to pay their bills, including your legal fees] clients.

However, the competition is fierce. Other scuffling attorneys are doing things like leaving their business cards sprinkled on the waiting benches outside of Traffic Court courtrooms.

Negroes tend to call the phone numbers on business cards that have Jewish-sounding last names. Negroes WON'T pick up the business card and call somebody named "Tanisha Jackson, Esq." They also won't pick up the card from "Diane Jackson, Esq."
_____________________

Greetings, Pioneer Valley Woman!

You said, "Interesting comments, and I am so sad to hear about the legal situation in Chicago and elsewhere. Hearing it from the professionals and then hearing it from our alumns who go in and then can't find jobs!"

Well, it's a simple equation:

Black self hatred +

Black lack of racial pride +

Integration/Desegregation =

The destruction of Black business.


I saw some crazy-sounding statistic that pointed out that AAs (the free ones, that is) owned MORE businesses during slavery (percentage-wise) than we do now. I'm not surprised.

You said, "Perhaps he didn't see her as presenting an unattractive appearance. As far as I can tell, she kept herself in shape by having a vigorous exercise regimen....

...Granted, they tweaked things once they were getting into the national sphere, but I'd definitely rather see that than what some other men have done."


I normally don't talk about women's appearance, but Michelle O. was a HOT MESS before. She didn't have her appearance "tweaked," she had a TOTAL MAKEOVER! It's hard to believe that this current version is even the same woman as before. That's how dramatic the change is.

All of which demonstrated to me that she had some issues. NO political wife runs around, and shows up at political events, looking the way she looked. It was crazy.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Greetings Khadija!

I am on the floor at your comment to PVW:
"I normally don't talk about women's appearance, but Michelle O. was a HOT MESS before. She didn't have her appearance "tweaked," she had a TOTAL MAKEOVER!"

I have seen photos of the pre-presidential campaign Michelle and her dowdy presentation looked very typical of black women who migrate into the middle class from the "cusp" (working class) and from the lower classes. In those class tiers, looking "neat and clean" is the presentable standard.

They feel that as long as their clothes are cleaned and ironed and as long as their hair is combed that they are "presentable".

I know, I know...but that really is the mentality...{shaking my head}

Michelle decided on a contemporary hair cut instead of that wretched press-and-curl mess...and she also hired a stylist. She decided to accept coaching about her soft skills. She needed to be coached about her coarse facial expressions and her ungraceful gesturing but she has improved so much in the last two years. The coaching has helped immeasurably.

This brings me to another point in the discussion... there are many women who think that all it takes to get the man is a body... that works in the ghetto but NOT outside of the ghetto. High profile men who want a woman that enhances their image will seek a polished woman who is a TOTAL package...not a work-in-progress.

Keep in mind that Barack didn't have a standard when he met Michelle in his 20s...he was attracted to her intellect and personality. He may not have KNOWN that to be in certain circles, his wife needs to be polished and not just credentialed.

He was also used to the frumpy dumpy women in the Ivy League and he was also from a family background where the white women were homely and just didn't bother...

I wish that people could see the photos of the pre-presidential campaign Michelle so that they can understand just how wretched her packaging was...clearly Michelle just did not care about the necessity of an upper crust image in political circles. She felt that she could step into the presidential arena doing as she pleased and she found out that she became a liability to her husband when the negative press was focused on "scowling, angry" Michelle. She got a clue and started taking advice. {shaking my head}

These women who try to argue that it doesn't matter about being polished are partnered with working class men who do NOT have prominence in their professions...bottom line.

Since they didn't want to present a high standard, they wound up marrying those men who were merely crumb bearers...NOT bread winners..and that is why they are scraping by year after year, telling themselves that things will change...trying to act like they are content to be in tatters because they are sooo in love...
{shaking my head}

Let's just STOP THE MADNESS...and raise the bar shall we?

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

JaliliMaster said...

"I normally don't talk about women's appearance, but Michelle O. was a HOT MESS before. She didn't have her appearance "tweaked," she had a TOTAL MAKEOVER! It's hard to believe that this current version is even the same woman as before. That's how dramatic the change is.

All of which demonstrated to me that she had some issues. NO political wife runs around, and shows up at political events, looking the way she looked. It was crazy."

Is it wrong that the above post made me laugh?

Anonymous said...

Khadija- I aprreciate hearing from bw in the legal field. All of the info I could find were either from white men and women or jewish men and women.I plan to enter a joint J.D and MBA program and I want to work in international law. Do you think this would be a good route for young bw?

cami said...

Khadija- i appreciate hearing from other bw in the bw in legal field. All of the information that I was able to find was either written by white men and women or jewish men and women. I plan to enter a J.D/ MBA and i want to work in International law/bussiness field. Do you think this would be a good route for young bw?

Khadija said...

Hello there, Lisa!

About self-presentation:

I'm so happy you've explicitly pointed out some of the thinking that's going on among large swaths of the BF population. This current way of thinking just WON'T do. We CANNOT take our rightful places on the world stage with these current thoughts in mind.

I've been diplomatic before during earlier conversations that touched on this topic. But self-presentation is literally a matter of life and death for women. AND their future children.

It impacts whether or not a woman will have access to an excellent provider or only to "crumb bearers" (as you so accurately named them) as potential husbands. This, in turn, affects the quality of life of a woman's children. Every race of women on this planet EXCEPT AA women seem to grasp this concept.

Therefore, I can't keep being so diplomatic if I want to clearly communicate certain life-saving concepts to those women who weren't told these things while growing up.

I also see that I'm going to have to "channel" one of my great-aunts to CLEARLY, and UNAMBIGUOUSLY communicate certain thoughts. This means that I'll have to say some things the rough way, use some bleeped-out profanity, and even slip into some Ebonics {Lord have mercy}...

With all of that in mind, let's proceed.


You said, "I have seen photos of the pre-presidential campaign Michelle and her dowdy presentation looked very typical of black women who migrate into the middle class from the "cusp" (working class) and from the lower classes. In those class tiers, looking "neat and clean" is the presentable standard."

It is true that this "neat, clean, presentable" standard is prevalent within the lower and working classes. But there's more to it than that. It's not simply a notion accepted by lower- and working class BW. It's accepted by a CERTAIN TYPE of lower- and working class BW. A woman who does NOT feel special about herself.

My grandmothers, aunts, etc. were poor, lower class, and working class women. My parents grew up poor. My older female relatives NEVER bought into this "neat, clean, presentable" standard.

{channelling a great-aunt who was correct about MANY things}

"What the h** is wrong with you? Why wouldn't you be neat, clean, and presentable? You're SUPPOSED to wash your nasty behind AND your clothes! We don't haaave no skid row bums up in here!!!"


You said, "They feel that as long as their clothes are cleaned and ironed and as long as their hair is combed that they are "presentable".

I know, I know...but that really is the mentality...{shaking my head}"
"

{Khadija's great-aunt speaking again}

"I don't know what you doing, (silently thinking--"with your tired self"), but I'M fine! And MY babies are cute! Every single one of 'em! And yes, I did get my babies' fancy clothes from that White woman I clean for. She gave 'em to me, and I took 'em with a smile. Don't MY babies look good?!"


You said, "Michelle decided on a contemporary hair cut instead of that wretched press-and-curl mess..."

{Khadija's great-aunt speaking again}

"Press and curl? S*** on that. I had to tell 'Honey' [her husband], 'Don't be tryin' to make me sweat MY HAIR before we go out tonight!'

I'll have to catch him on the 'up-beat' with all that sweating---AFTER we get back from the club!"


[Editor's note: Relatives said that "Honey" was always PROUD to be seen walking down the street with my great-aunt on his arm.]

You said, "This brings me to another point in the discussion... there are many women who think that all it takes to get the man is a body... that works in the ghetto but NOT outside of the ghetto. High profile men who want a woman that enhances their image will seek a polished woman who is a TOTAL package...not a work-in-progress."

{Khadija's great-aunt speaking again}

"You see those fancy, rich girls comin' out of that cotillion? They ALL skinny up in there! ALL them girls skinny. There's nothing special about 'skinny.' You got to be SPECIAL to get you a boy that's got something. EVERYTHING about you got to say 'Jump Back!'"

ALL those girls got the same equipment you got. Unless you got some sand in your crotch that gives a man a different type of feeling, it's ALL THE SAME. You got to be special in other ways. You got to be special in EVERY WAY."


{Khadija's great-aunt has to leave now, and get back to her cigarettes, mixed drinks and card games in heaven}


You said, "These women who try to argue that it doesn't matter about being polished are partnered with working class men who do NOT have prominence in their professions...bottom line.

Since they didn't want to present a high standard, they wound up marrying those men who were merely crumb bearers...NOT bread winners..and that is why they are scraping by year after year, telling themselves that things will change...trying to act like they are content to be in tatters because they are sooo in love...
{shaking my head}"


You've spoken the harsh truth here.

You said, "Let's just STOP THE MADNESS...and raise the bar shall we?"

INDEED.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Cami!

You said, "I plan to enter a J.D/ MBA and i want to work in International law/bussiness field. Do you think this would be a good route for young bw?"

I don't know. You need to find out what businesses are hiring lawyers to do the type of work you want to do. You then need to find out what's going on with these types of businesses.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

cami said...

Opps! Sorry for posting twice. I am still getting used to this blog.
Khadija- Thanks for the advice. Your post regarding marrying well was spot on. But I think most black women have to feel that they deserve a successful man. I see these feelings of unworthiness in many of my peers and in my own mother. My mother used to be incredibly beautiful. She used to do some modeling and she has two Ivy League degrees. She was approached by very successful men all the time( including a senator, 2 millionaires, a judge, investment bankers, doctors ,lawyers etc) I shake my head at all of the great opportunities she missed. She didn’t date these men because she didn’t feel that she was worthy. I agree that black women should always strive to have a polished and sophisticated image. But I disagree that wealthy men always marry polished women. Look at Anna Nicole smith, Frasier’s wife( she was an mtv go-go dancer), and many playboy bunnies tend to find an endless supply of wealthy men to marry.For some of your readers who want to pursue to marry well path there is this book called "How to Marry The Rich" by Ginie Polo Sayles. She was a single mother on welfare but she was able to marry a texas oil millionaire. She also has a website where sells books/cds on how to socialize with the rich and how to gain rich clients. I havent read any of her books but I read a article about her on forbes.com and she really seems to know her stuff. lol.
Re Lisa- How are black women fetishizing themselves?
Maybe it is because we are in different age brackets and in different locations but the black women around me tend to do everything in their power to make themselves look unappealing. They wear drab and shapeless clothes and they tend to be overweight.

JaliliMaster said...

I agree about the appearance issue. When one talks about it, most people think you only mean looks. It's more than that. Afterall, haven't we all seen that very average plain jane, who would 'touch up', and all of a sudden, she looks like manna from heaven. It's also about how one carries themself.

It annoys me when people accuse bw of having attitude, then I'll hear bw saying "it's not attitude, it's confidence". BULL! No woman who is truly confident in herself would feel the need to put on an attitude. It is a cover for low self-esteem. Then those of us who don't feel the need to finger snap/wag, eye-roll, kiss our teeth, etc., get grief off them. All of a sudden, you become a snob.

Look at all the headache that Evia got(and still get's) anytime she mentions the weight issue. We want to pretend that it is not a problem. I actually once read a comment from a girl on Bossip (when I still used to go there). She said: "I'm not fat, I'm like Monique!" And this was BEFORE Monique lost the weight(she's still fat, but you get my drift).

One cannot continue to complain that they are single and want to attract 'one of the good ones', when they refuse to accentuate themselves. If it's so easy to understand why the Gabrielle Unions, Kerry Washingtons, Nia Longs, Naomi Campbells etc., would pick a Denzel Washington, Will Smith, or even a Barack Obama over a Flava Flav(and there are women who are actually attracted to him), or even a Cedric the Entertainer, why should it be so hard to grasp that these men would also rather have these women than a Monique? People talk about Michelle, and say that she is like your average bw you see around. As far as I know, the average bw doesn't go to the gym(or engage in any type of active excercise). Say all you want about how our First Lady used to carry herself, but atleast she knew the benefits of excercise. Go to the gym one day and look around. My sister and I are usually the only black females in the gym, bar one other lady. If at all I see anymore, they usually only come once a week, for about a month, then I never see them again. We even once had a black man insult us to his white male friend, then snigger, as if he was paying us some type of compliment. he said something along the lines of: "Good to see there are sisters who actually get off their asses and go to the gym." I didn't actually hear what he said, I only saw him laughing with his friend. However, he passed my sister who was on another excercise machine and did the same thing. It was her who told me what he actually said. This happened in London, and i could tell from the vindictiveness in his voice and the way he looked at us that he was the 'never date a bw' type(I've heard there are quite a few of them here). So I was amused that he'd still refer to me as 'sister'. It was his way of giving a backhanded compliment. As if to say, yes, I'm dissing bw, but I'm actually paying a compliment to you. I've even heard an obese woman once say 'excercise is a white people's thing'. Come on!

For all the noise we may make about bm and their self-hating dating choices, I will never criticise a man who excercises, lives healthy, is well employed, properly educated etc, for wanting a woman of similar standing. The same applies in the reverse order.

Try watching "Why did I get married"(if you can bear to watch a Tyler Perry film). The character played by Jill Scott was constantly insulted by her husband, especially over her weight, then he cheated on her with one of her more slender, attractive best friends. Anyone with a heart would have been rooting for this woman. As I watched the film online(as I do with any film that I may want to watch but not put money in the makers pocket), it was a semi-boot leg version. So one could hear the reaction of the audience(mostly black women). When she hit her husband with a bottle, they all cheered. After the breakup, she met a nice man, who was rather attractive. The camera panned over his body while he was in a vest, and showed her practically salivating as she watched him. One could hear the wolf whistles and moans from the black female audience as they watched it. I kept wondering. Why was it okay for her to lust after this man because he was so fit? There was even further hypocrisy when a woman commented that as a 'big' woman, she was glad that they eventually paired the character off with a fit, attractive man as usually, they pair the overweight woman with the nice, but overweight man.

It's as if with some people, the whole idea that being overweight might be partly responsible for some of their health problems is blasphemy. As far as their concerned, it is racist to point out that going to the gym is good for ones health(I've actually heard that accusation before)!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Cami!

You said, " But I think most black women have to feel that they deserve a successful man. I see these feelings of unworthiness in many of my peers and in my own mother."

I agree that there are some DEEP-seated psychological things going on with the issue of BW's self-presentation. I don't claim to understand it. I don't. I knew that many BW were touchy about these issues.

But I was genuinely shocked and appalled by some of things that were said during an earlier blog discussion specifically devoted to the issue of BW's self-presentation. [The Are You Ready to Feel Flawless? discussion. There's a badge button that links to this discussion on the top right side, directly underneath the blog masthead.]

I find all of that sort of thinking [especially the "I'm too poor to do any better" excuses] quite peculiar. My older female relatives were POOR. They didn't have that "I can't do any better with my self-presentation" mindset.

Not every woman in my family is/was fanatical about making the most of their appearance. Some of us have fallen into lazy habits about that. But our elders raised us to understand the real-world value of a woman making the most of her appearance.

Specifically, this INFERIOR standard of "neat, clean, presentable" was something that was only said to messy, little boys in my family. And that only applied when the little boys were in the "snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails" age range. Young ladies were expected to exert themselves to look "cute."

You said, "I agree that black women should always strive to have a polished and sophisticated image. But I disagree that wealthy men always marry polished women. Look at Anna Nicole smith, Frasier’s wife( she was an mtv go-go dancer), and many playboy bunnies tend to find an endless supply of wealthy men to marry."

Why do so many of us hang out at the margins of an issue? You're mentioning the exceptions to the general behavior pattern. Most prominent, successful men are NOT willing to MARRY go go dancers, Playboy bunnies, and prostitutes. Most successful, prominent men are not going to marry "floozies." And really, would any of us actually want a man who's foolish enough to choose a "floozy"?

I'm NOT talking about marrying for money. I'm talking about marrying for love PLUS the man's ability and willingness to provide an excellent quality of life for his future wife and children.

BW and children are in the terrible condition that they're in because most BW choose INFERIOR-quality men who unfit, unwilling, and/or unable to protect and provide for them and their children.

If BW want better lives, we must learn to choose better-quality men. However, there's always a price-tag of some sort for any advance in life. The price tag for access to better quality men is for most of us to "step up our game" in terms of our self-presentation. There's no getting around this.

BW need to understand that a "tight and right," "Brickhouse" body BY ITSELF is INSUFFICIENT for this purpose. "Brickhouse" by itself only works in slum settings; and/or with animalistic, slum-mentality Negroes.

Many other women have nice bodies [or as my great-aunt would say "are built up nice, and have a nice shape"]. There are many other women who have the "Brickhouse" body going strong PLUS they are polished! In the modern age of legions of circuit-trained women with circuit-trained bodies, a woman cannot rely on her body alone. The total "package" has to be special.

I'll say it the rough way: I think a lot of BW think that a circuit-trained body is spectacular by itself because so many BW are overweight, and morbidly obese. The attractive, athletic body is NOT that rare among women from other, less obese ethnic groups.


And let's talk about one exception you mentioned, Anna Nicole Smith's geriatric husband, oil magnate James Howard Marshall II for a moment.

From Wikipedia:

"He married Eleanor Pierce in 1931 and divorced in 1961. His second marriage, to Bettye Bohannon, lasted from 1961 until her death in 1991. In 1994, at the age of 89, he married 26-year-old celebrity Anna Nicole Smith. Their marriage lasted fourteen months until his death."

It seems pretty unlikely to me that these other 2 wives [whose marriages lasted for about 30 years each, and with whom he had children] were showgirls, Playboy bunnies, or prostitutes. The type of women Mr. Howard chose in his prime years, and when he had his wits about him, were probably much more typical of the sort of women such men MARRY.
__________________

Hello there, JaliliMaster!

You said, "Look at all the headache that Evia got(and still get's) anytime she mentions the weight issue. We want to pretend that it is not a problem. I actually once read a comment from a girl on Bossip (when I still used to go there). She said: "I'm not fat, I'm like Monique!" And this was BEFORE Monique lost the weight(she's still fat, but you get my drift)."

Yes, I noticed how so many BW were ready to lynch Evia over this topic. About Monique---Monique was MORBIDLY obese. Who are we trying to kid?

You said, "One cannot continue to complain that they are single and want to attract 'one of the good ones', when they refuse to accentuate themselves."

Yep. This is a really simple, BASIC pattern of human behavior. Men are very visual. Women are also very visual, it's just that women have been socialized to factor in other attributes when evaluating a man. BW aren't stupid. There has to be some sort of psychological issue or conditioning that's blocking our ability to grasp a very BASIC concept.

When describing the audience reactions to the "bootleg" Tyler Perry movie you watched online, you said, "The camera panned over his body while he was in a vest, and showed her practically salivating as she watched him. One could hear the wolf whistles and moans from the black female audience as they watched it. I kept wondering.

Why was it okay for her to lust after this man because he was so fit? There was even further hypocrisy when a woman commented that as a 'big' woman, she was glad that they eventually paired the character off with a fit, attractive man as usually, they pair the overweight woman with the nice, but overweight man."


Yes, this IS hypocritical. We should be willing to give FAIR EXCHANGE to our partners. If we want the benefit of a man with a body worth drooling over, we should be willing to make our bodies worth drooling over. Fair is fair.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

I'm NOT talking about marrying for money. I'm talking about marrying for love PLUS the man's ability and willingness to provide an excellent quality of life for his future wife and children.

Thank You!! Khadija, I think there is such a lack of understanding about this concept of "marrying well." It is definitely NOT just about money! There are some really uncouth men who have money. Love has a LOT to do with it, and when a man is treating you well--providing and protecting--it is a LOT easier to love him.

Let me also point out that not all men of "means" are in the corporate sector. Another thing is that "means" may be different, depending on the age of the man and other factors (since there are women of different ages reading this). I would say that sensible men tend to have more financial means when they're older than when they were younger. That may be a kind of a DUH thing to say.

But "means" also refers IMO to a man having a variety of resources--not just money. He needs to have the ability to meet the challenges of life because that's what makes a man a good provider and protector. Money is a key factor but it alone (unless he's VERY rich) is not a substitute for other vital attributes (good judgment, maturity, DRIVE, commonsense, good emotional health, etc.) If he doesn't have these, a man is often not able to ward off constant problems and stress which will eat away at that "comfortable life." Most times though, a man of good financial means will possess these other attributes to a satisfactory level.

Particularly, if we're talking about wm, they can be in ALL sectors: tekkies, artists, scientists, moderate-size business owners, real estate business investors (who can sit at home for the most part), etc. or a combination AND many others. I don't think that bw should rule out any of these men and should vet any and all of them if she and he are interested. Also, many wm have INHERITED resources that can make up a portion of their financial "means" so it may not be obvious when you first meet them. Many wm do not drive flashy cars and are not into bling anything. Many of them also have ho-hum appearances and demeanors. This is why vetting is so important; it't the way a woman gets to really "know" what a man is bringing to her table. Some bw will walk away from a typical wm who doesn't razzle dazzle them in the first 10 minutes.

BW and children are in the terrible condition that they're in because most BW choose INFERIOR-quality men who unfit, unwilling, and/or unable to protect and provide for them and their children.

If you've noticed on my site, I continue to get notes from bw who are trying to talk themselves into mating with men who are either "unfit, unwilling, and/or unable" to be good providers and they want me to tell them that they're not being foolish. If they go ahead and do it, this situation can and usually does put tremendous stress on the woman and the relationship as time goes on. Usually, things come to a head, and there is a break-up with the woman left with the children, which is the quickest route into poverty for a typical AA woman.

If BW want better lives, we must learn to choose better-quality men. However, there's always a price-tag of some sort for any advance in life. The price tag for access to better quality men is for most of us to "step up our game" in terms of our self-presentation. There's no getting around this.

The fact is that the woman doesn't have to look like a fashion plate, but she needs to develop her "style" that looks good on her and incorporate some trendy "with it" items into her wardrobe on a regular basis. For ex. I have an aunt who lives in the rural south who is in her 70s and she wears designer jeans and a leather blazer when she goes shopping in town. When Darren met her, he was floored by her attire and her spirit. These jeans are not tight; they accentuate her body shape and she wears blouses and dresses in colors that love her pecan-colored complexion.

And bw, in general, have gorgeous complexions that work with a wide range of colors. Black women also have natural curves like NO other group of women and if we take care of our bodies, many of those curves will stay pretty much where they were for a long time. LOL! We also have skin like no other group of women. I just think that bw don't hear enough how beautiful we are. For ex. I didn't know I had 'mauve' lips until I started dating wm. LOL! I don't want to get too personal here, but Darren hates for me to wear lipstick because he loves how my mauve lips contrasts with my skin shade. But I love my lipstick! LOL!

The point is that many wm/nonbm are just mesmerized by our skin shades, skin texture, teeth, hair, eye shapes and expressions (large, sloe-shaped/almond shape, animated) our facial structures (with our awesome cheekbones), plump lips, and our natural vivaciousness, zany sense of humor, our spiritedness, the creativity in our repartee, our natural warmth, the way we can make a man just feel so comfortable talking to us, etc. I know these don't apply to all bw, but many bw just naturally have some of these GIFTS. We tend to just naturally be more fun to be around, according to a bunch of wm I've talked with about this--in detail.

But bw don't tend to hear these complimentary things said about them, or not nearly enough. Since I've mixed with other populations, I have heard many comments like these over the years from a variety of non-AA men. I'm not just talking about wm.

At any age, a woman can dress stylishly and in "with it" clothes, which does not mean garish/showy or expensive. I think that (from a man's perspective), you can get away with practically anything IF it's in good taste and looks good on you.

Many Quality men (and I'm assuming that we're all pretty much agreeing on what a Quality man is) are just like other men when it comes to a woman's erotic appeal. They want a woman who can titillate them amd arouse them and light up their imagination about her. They are just as sexual as ANY other man (to say that nicely). LOL!


BW need to understand that a "tight and right," "Brickhouse" body BY ITSELF is INSUFFICIENT for this purpose. "Brickhouse" by itself only works in slum settings; and/or with animalistic, slum-mentality Negroes.

Exactly! A brickhouse body may get a man's attention for a sexual fling, but it won't keep him interested for long if that's all she has. Some of this is age-related, but many of the type of men I'm talking about want a woman who has DEVELOPED her interests, passions, talents, skills, her mind, etc. and gains satisfaction from these things. This makes her a more interesting person because she has a life of her own and this feeds her self-esteem. A woman of this type is able to nurture a man, as well as receive nurturing from him. She's not needy, clingy, or empty. IMO, an interesting person is simply a much better mate, whether man or woman and can keep their mate stimulated and interested, and several of the type of Quality man that I'm talking about have told me that. This is why some men cheat on women and why some women cheat on their husbands. Their spouses are just not stimulating and interesting enough, so they get "shots" of stimulation from other quarters. I don't condone this, but this is ONE reason why it happens.

Many other women have nice bodies [or as my great-aunt would say "are built up nice, and have a nice shape"]. There are many other women who have the "Brickhouse" body going strong PLUS they are polished! In the modern age of legions of circuit-trained women with circuit-trained bodies, a woman cannot rely on her body alone. The total "package" has to be special.

And "polished" doesn't just mean in appearance, it means emotionally and intellectually also, as I said. For ex. Halle has polished looks, but that apparently didn't help her much when she was younger because she wasn't wound tight emotionally from what she's stated. I don't know about her intellect, but I suspect she wasn't too sharp there either. Reading the "right" material and exposing yourself to a diversity of ideas definitely helps to inform you emotionally AND intellectually.

I'll say it the rough way: I think a lot of BW think that a circuit-trained body is spectacular by itself because so many BW are overweight, and morbidly obese. The attractive, athletic body is NOT that rare among women from other, less obese ethnic groups.

I think that a "circuit-trained Body" would only keep a shallow, insecure man's attention over the long haul. I don't think we're talking about that type of man here. We should all realize that a QUALITY man wants a mate who is also tantalizing in the vertical postion. I certainly want a man who is stimulating horizontally and vertically. LOL!


Yep. This is a really simple, BASIC pattern of human behavior. Men are very visual.

Let me repeat that QUALITY men TOO are ALSO very visual. Some of the wm who read our sites have pointed out that many bw who comment don't seem to think that wm like sex.

BW aren't stupid. There has to be some sort of psychological issue or conditioning that's blocking our ability to grasp a very BASIC concept.

I think that SOME bw are resistant because of all of the pressure on them to be "Miss Perfect" this and that, and somehow nothing they do is good enough. This is BECAUSE they've been mainly jumping through hoops for the "black community" and bm. This is why I've pointed out that it's pointless to try to satisfy folks in the black community. The return will be minimal to none or actually a minus return in many cases. Most bw don't realize this because the vast majority of them are STILL hooked into the bc. So they keep jumping through hoops and still don't get appreciated. From the behavior modification perspective, this is a very effective way to kill motivation. So they want to just give up. They need to go where they will be REWARDED for their efforts.

JaliliMaster said...

"Yes, I noticed how so many BW were ready to lynch Evia over this topic. About Monique---Monique was MORBIDLY obese. Who are we trying to kid?"

True, true, I was trying to be polite. It just reminded me of a comment made by Louis Walsh(a judge on X Factor, an American Idol type show): "Michelle McManus is the only person I know who's lost five stone and is still fat!"

Do a google search for Ms mcManus, u'll get my drift.

JaliliMaster said...

"Opps! Sorry for posting twice. I am still getting used to this blog.
Khadija- Thanks for the advice. Your post regarding marrying well was spot on. But I think most black women have to feel that they deserve a successful man. I see these feelings of unworthiness in many of my peers and in my own mother. My mother used to be incredibly beautiful. She used to do some modeling and she has two Ivy League degrees. She was approached by very successful men all the time( including a senator, 2 millionaires, a judge, investment bankers, doctors ,lawyers etc) I shake my head at all of the great opportunities she missed. She didn’t date these men because she didn’t feel that she was worthy."

This is sad but very common. I don't think the plethora of Black women who anyone would consider a catch pairing up with men who are obvious no-go disaster zones is only about them lowering their standards for a 'brother'. Alot of it is because these women beleive that is all they deserve! Look at how one can see that black man, either unemployed, broke, ex-con, or janitor(not a crime to be a janitor, but I'll make my point). These men(like other races of men), do not just dream of dating that woman at a far higher station in life. They actually think they DESERVE such a woman. Notice how for many successful Black men, for them to date a Black woman, she has to be on point. If it was all about them believing that they were entitled to the best, they'd still have such high standards IRRESPECTIVE of the woman's race. We all know that isn't true. I know of one white girl who said that she met a black guy in university who would let it be known to anyone who would listen, that for him to date a black girl, she had to be slim and pretty, intelligent and atleast middle class. However, his girlfriend was overweight and sloppy, hardly ever attended classes and was not too bright, saying she was a plain jane is a compliment, and she was the physical epitome of trailer trash. And yeah, she was white! This guy couldn't recognise the stupidity in his words.
_______________________

"I agree that black women should always strive to have a polished and sophisticated image. But I disagree that wealthy men always marry polished women. Look at Anna Nicole smith, Frasier’s wife( she was an mtv go-go dancer), and many playboy bunnies tend to find an endless supply of wealthy men to marry."

Anna Nicole Smith is the wrong example to use. She is trash. Sorry, was trash. And look at her husband, do you really think he'd have picked her type in his prime? I doubt there were that many classy beautiful women willing to marry him, no matter how wealthy he was. I think people overestimate the average womans so-called goldigging when it comes to such things.
______________________

"For some of your readers who want to pursue to marry well path there is this book called "How to Marry The Rich" by Ginie Polo Sayles. She was a single mother on welfare but she was able to marry a texas oil millionaire. She also has a website where sells books/cds on how to socialize with the rich and how to gain rich clients. I havent read any of her books but I read a article about her on forbes.com and she really seems to know her stuff. lol."

I think you are confusing marrying well with marrying rich. the two are different things. Afterall, one could marry many of these silly NBA/NFL/whatever-other-sport folks, it doesn't mean you are marrying well. If one has to chase them down for child support(as is the case with many of their baby mommas), how is that marrying well. Or these midle class 'players' who think they are God's gift to women(and more precisely, black women). they may have money, but they're still dogs. Marrying well means more than someone who can financially provide. It is also about character, how they treat you, sacrifices they are willing to make, etc.

Would I ever even as much as consider a man who cannot put food on the table? No. Excuse me for a second Khadija, as i don't want to be perceived as some African that is looking down on......(you get my drift). But I know for a fact that neither of my parents will accept a man who isn't eduacted. He can be as wealthy as Tom Cruise, if he didn't "go to school", he is a no. if he is as wealthy as Bill gates, that's a whole other issue. I was surprised when I fisrt started going to Evia's blog, and she actually had to 'tell' AA women to marry well. This is the norm for me. And I'm sure it isn't just unique to Nigerian culture. White women know this. Asian women know this. African women know this. They don't receive any grief for it, so why should AA women. AA women, i've noticed, care waaaay too much what black men think. It wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't having a negative impact, but it is. why shouldn't a AA woman who is educated and gainfully employed not want a man of similar standing? Look at all of these black athletes, anytime they get cleaned out in court, it is usually at the hands of a non-black significant other, yet, it seems they only have a problem with golddigging if they can point to a black woman? I've heard so many AA men call Sheila Johnson(i think that's her name), a golddigger because she decided that she wanted half when she was divorcing her creep/pimp of a husband. this is despite the fact that she took out the loan to start the company when they were young as his credit was bad. She said that she INSISTED that her name be listed on the company's papers as co-owner. As is common, her husband told her that it was unnecessary, he loved her and would never leave her, blah blah, and had she backed down, she would probably have ended up with far less when they divorced. SHE is the one that was prudent with her savings. SHE is the one that that always paid her bills ontime. SHE is the one that did not overspend as a youth. SHE is the one that kept her credit clean. SHE is the one in whose name the loan was taken and hence, SHE is the one who bore the most responsibilty should things go wrong, yet SHE is the one that some folks think should get no money after the divorce. Unless I'm mistaken, between the two of them she made the 100% financial contribution. Lord, I've so wandered off.
___________________

"Re Lisa- How are black women fetishizing themselves?
Maybe it is because we are in different age brackets and in different locations but the black women around me tend to do everything in their power to make themselves look unappealing. They wear drab and shapeless clothes and they tend to be overweight."

They have the same effect....making the woman unappealing to the average man, in a normal setting. he may not pick the drab, dowdy woman over the more presentable one, but similarly, any man worth their salt wouldn't see any of these women walking around with their body parts hanging out and their clothes as tight as clingfilm and still even touch them with a bargepole! I know I wouldn't(If say, I was a lesbian).

Which actually reminds me. There was this dating show on MTV called Next. Once, it was an attractive lesbian(I assume she was white with black hair, or she may have been a white hispanic). The first girl came out, after some minutes, she 'Nexted' her as she felt no chemistry. Then a Black woman, about mid-to-late twenties came out. Upon seeing her, the main girl said 'Next' with a look of disgust in her face. The black woman then left, and her attitude seemed to be like the girl only did it 'cuz I'm black. the girl gave her reasons to the camera and said she just couldn't stand the girls outfit and general style. I didn't blame her. Ole' girl looked terrible. Maybe not a hot clown mess, but a hot mess all the same. her hair was unkempt(she must have thought it was a style), her shoes were just meh, and she wore......wait for it.....a KHAKI BROWN trouser suit, that was ill fitting, then a tight top underneat. TO A DATE!

This is not just about dating. Evia has said that one should try to look atleast decent on all occassions, as one doesn't know who they might encounter. this is very true.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Greetings Khadija!

I must applaud you for the way that you have addressed this issue!

There is just too much denial that we have to shatter.

When we talk about the "I'm always neat and clean" standard (which is the lowest standard to adopt) and the polished standard, many women don't understand the gap between those two categories.

Let me make it plain.

We all can stand to do an honest assessment of what we are presenting from head to toe.

HAIR
What condition is it in?
Is there balding or thinning? Can that be addressed with medications or a change of diet?
Is the color of the hair truly flattering on you, or is it just a popular color in your class tier?
(e.g. burgundy hair, orange hair that is called blond, streaked hair, etc.)
Is your hair greying and is it enhancing your look or does it make you appear older?
Is your hair style appropriate for your age and bone structure?
What about the texture you have chosen - is it the most flattering for your face?

As much as some sistas do not want to admit it, afros are not flattering on everyone. Chemical hair is not flattering on everyone either. It depends.

Some women look hip and trendy with dreds... other women's faces look a lot more masculine with dreds.

Wearing a short, short fro that is cropped like a man is NOT a look for every sista. Some sistas look fantastic and chic (like Grace Jones) and other sistas look like tomboys.


FACE
Do you have scars, acne or blemishes? There are medications that will "shrink" some scars. There are many products to help with acne and blemishes?

Do you wear glasses and are your frames flattering your facial bone structure?

Do you have dark circles under your eyes?

Do you have chapped lips?

Are you wearing make up colors that are appropriate for your age and for the setting that you are in? (I see lots of black women wearing evening make up colors during the day.)

Look at your eyebrows. Are they groomed? All hair on the body should be groomed or removed.

Do you have facial hair on your chin or upper lip? Mustaches are not cute.


TEETH
Do you need dental work?
Do you have gapped teeth?
Do you need your teeth bleached or caped?

*Michelle clearly requires some dental work. I suppose she feels that because her teeth aren't chipped that no one can tell that she didn't get braces at the age when she should have. Many black people grew up in environments were dental work was considered a luxury. It's a necessity to have dental work completed if you want to have a polished look.

I will be getting a clear retainer fitted for the back of my teeth because my teeth have changed as I have aged.


BODY
Are you in shape?
Do you need to pay attention to fitness? (I do! I know many women who can improve in this area! Being slender is NOT the same as being fit. There are a lot of slender women who have "jelly".


YOUR BREAST ALIGNMENT
Look at your bra. Do you have proper breast alignment? Do you know the height that your breasts should be? My doctor actually measured that once to determine if I would be a candidate for a breast lift! *LOL* You know these doctors just love to get kick backs from other doctors for giving referrals! *LOL*

If you wear a D or DD (or E), you may want to consider a custom made bra. They cost about $75. Any high end boutique will be able to tell you where to get a custom bra designed.

Cheap bras in stores lose their elasticity quickly. I notice many women who have saggy bras and they keep wearing them anyway - thinking that NO ONE notices. {shaking my head}


KNEES AND ELBOWS
Check your knees and elbows and ankles. Do you need discoloration treatments? (Your knees, elbows and ankles should not look like you have soaked them in tar since Nixon left office.)


HANDS
Look at your finger nails. Is the nail color healthy in appearance? Are your nails kept uniform in length? Do you wear neutral nail colors? (Designs are ghetto and long nails are ghetto.)

Are your knuckles discolored? Do you need discoloration treatments?

Are your hands soft and moist looking?

Are your cuticles in good condition?


LEGS
Look at your legs from all angles.

Do you have varicose veins?

Do you know that bowed legs are thought to be a deformity within the upper classes? (It is not considered sexy to have bowed legs. They are associated with the lower classes because it is perceived that bowed legs result from carrying babies on the back and on the hip while their bones are still soft.) Upper crust women do not tie babies on their backs or carry them on their hips. (That's why there's a nanny around to push the stroller. *LOL*)


PRIVATE AREAS
All hair must be regularly trimmed and groomed or waxed off. Either or. Doing nothing in that area is unacceptable and it is ghetto.


FEET
Look at your feet. Do you need toe surgery to correct anything that is unattractive?

Do you have corns or callouses that need to be treated? Do you have hair on your toes that should be waxed? Are your toe nails a healthy color and shape?

Designs on toes are ghetto. Toe rings are garish looking. Ankle jewelry is garish looking. Think about Lady Diana and how her feet were in open toe shoes with her long gowns.

Are the bottoms of your feet soft? They should feel as soft as the palms of your hands.

This is what a head-to-toe inventory consists of.

I know this is a long comment but I just wanted to give some specifics about WHAT polished women pay attention to that these other women may not be paying attention to.

Women who "claim" that they have no money to address these appearance issues need to ask themselves...
Do I need to have a Blackberry? What did it cost? Could I have used that money on an investment in elevating my presentation instead of on the latest gadget?

What about my cell phone? Do I really need to have picture mail and email on the phone? Can that money be used to invest in improving your presentation?

What about cable tv? Is it necessary to spend $75-$100 per month on cable and then CLAIM that you have no money to invest in elevating your presentation?

Even those who claim that they just can't cut any expenses haven't looked hard enough at what they THINK is so essential.

I have a friend who lives one block from a bus stop and yet she drives to work every day. She's another one who says, "gurl I wish I could afford a stylist like you!" Pleeease. Sista gurl has a Volvo and an SUV, owns two computers and she also spends $600 a year on cable. She's saying she can't afford a stylist but she's blowing money on non-essentials?

Every woman doesn't NEED a stylist. These things that I mention in the checklist can be addressed without spending a fortune.

If outer presentation (for most black women) is the difference between being socially mobile in other class tiers and not being socially mobile, the priority should be clear. The issue to me really isn't social mobility...it's a self worth issue.

I invest financially in my presentation because I feel that I am WORTH every penny it takes to be fabulous and to look fabulous. All women are worth it!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija

"NO political wife runs around, and shows up at political events, looking the way she looked. It was crazy."


Ok, now I am curious to know what Michelle O. looked like before the campaign.





I am also tripping about the channeling of the great aunt. It was funny. :)




@ Cami

"Re Lisa- How are black women fetishizing themselves?
Maybe it is because we are in different age brackets and in different locations but the black women around me tend to do everything in their power to make themselves look unappealing. They wear drab and shapeless clothes and they tend to be overweight."



I know that you addressed that to Rev Lisa, but I would like to take a shot.

Google the covers of Black Men's magazine, Smooth, King, etc.. Or even look at some of the rap videos of the past. There are regular ordinary women who dress like that in real life in order to get the attention of BM.


You can go on myspace or facebook and just browse the female profiles and you can see tons of BW with the cleavage out of the shirts or scarves wrapped around their breasts instead of a shirt, the extra short hotpants- not the regular hotpants (which are short enough), but the ones that are V shaped, high cut and only 2- 3" wide, supertight stretch capris or jeans, dresses that barely touch the tops of the thighs with the JLo cleavage.

Or you can see this in some clubs or in some neighborhoods.



I just wanted to add that I think a young woman can wear a miniskirt for example, and look nice, but the exact same skirt wouldn't be appropriate for a 50 year old.




"But our elders raised us to understand the real-world value of a woman making the most of her appearance.



There are many other women who have the "Brickhouse" body going strong PLUS they are polished! In the modern age of legions of circuit-trained women with circuit-trained bodies, a woman cannot rely on her body alone. The total "package" has to be special."


Khadija,


I agree that when it comes to marriage and dating or just presenting yourself looking put together and polished is essential, but I just want to throw some things out there as to why some women may be resistant:



1. Some women may feel it cheapens them.


2. Some women may feel its shallow.


3. Some women may feel it is unattainable. Especially when adding something special to being attractive.


4. Attractive/looking good has been defined as anything, but Black, outside of the body fetishization thing- I know that's not good or healthy, but it was quantifiable and achievable for some BW. I am not justifying it - just making comments.


5. Regarding weight I think a lot of BW may be scared or concerned when it comes to the purely physical aspects of being thin. I know I have personally shared some of the emotional stuff on the board, but I think BW are aware of the pressures that WW are under to to achieve/maintain certain WW ideals when it comes to thinness and some may be afraid that that will be one extra unacheiveable burden on them.




Just throwing some things out there.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Obama dressed for her figure and the time period. From the pictures I have seen she has looked professional and ploished. She comes from a working class family. She went to IVy League schools where she looked polished. I think that some folks are getting confused about her looks. Pre-presidential she wore suits and dresses just like she is now.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Aphrodite:

Some women may feel it is unattainable. Especially when adding something special to being attractive.


4. Attractive/looking good has been defined as anything, but Black, outside of the body fetishization thing- I know that's not good or healthy, but it was quantifiable and achievable for some BW. I am not justifying it - just making comments.

My reply:

Your ideas made me think of this further.

Doing the best they can might be seen by some as never being good enough, because they just don't fit the ideal, and that isn't just a matter of doing the bare minimum.

So yes, they do their best to look cute, etc., but if things are not as they want them to be, the message many women get today is that there must be something wrong with them. But they can never figure what, when in reality, there might not anything wrong.

All sorts of assaults on women's dignity and self-esteem, and black women, if anything, get it worse.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Evia, JaliliMaster, Rev. Lisa, and Aphrodite!

Thank you all for adding so much more depth and substance to this angle of the conversation.

What I find disturbing about all of this is the following question. How did so many AA women get so confused, AND so invested in remaining confused about:

1-What marrying well means; AND
2-What it takes for a woman to be able to marry well?


[JaliliMaster, I didn't take any offense at your mention of Nigerian marriage standards. Many AAs used to raise girls to have similar common sense in terms of choosing a man. This "it's okay to select Joe the Hobo/DeShawn the Jailbird, etc." notion is a relatively recent (within the last 35-40 years) practice.

I believe it has a lot to do with the destruction of the AA family unit via illegitimacy. Married fathers were the main barrier standing between hobos, jailbirds, and other undesirables and their daughters. Once the fathers disappeared, so did the barriers blocking such creatures' access to decent AA girls.]

The bottom line is that those BW who refuse to step up their game will remain TRAPPED in many ways. And left behind. Let's be clear. This IS refusal at this point in time. If my older relatives who were POOR--for real poor--took the time to CARE about their self-presentation, so can modern BW.

Let me also note that I'm not saying any of this "from on high." As I mentioned during the "Flawless" conversation, there are some self-presentation things that I'm tightening up. I haven't thought about my great-aunt in a while. I realized while writing the above "channeling" comment that there are some trifling things that I'm doing that would cause her to tell me off. And she would be absolutely right! LOL!
________________________

Greetings, Anonymous!

You said, "Michelle Obama dressed for her figure and the time period."

NO.

You said, "From the pictures I have seen she has looked professional and ploished."

H** to the NO.

You said, "Pre-presidential she wore suits and dresses just like she is now."

You're not getting it. It's not enough to wear unattractive, unflattering suits and dresses. Pre-style coaching, Michelle O. wore clothes that were unflattering. She wore glasses with frames that were unflattering. She wore her hair in a manner (I can't call it a "style") that was unflattering.

She was NOT polished. Her "look" was was NOT together. And yet, she chose to appear in public with her politician husband looking...like...that. It was KA-RAY-ZEE.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

"Check your knees and elbows and ankles. Do you need discoloration treatments? (Your knees, elbows and ankles should not look like you have soaked them in tar since Nixon left office.)

Are your knuckles discolored? Do you need discoloration treatments?"

You may want to check with your dermatologist because as far as I know there is no such treatment for dark or black knees, elbows or knuckles. The only treatment I am aware of is scrubbing those areas regularly with a pumice stone and using a mild exfoliator --and that is only to smooth those rough areas not to lighten them.

Some professional salons may tell you other wise and suggest to you a procedure called microdermabrasion ---but all that is, is a professional exfoliation. Nothing more. It will make your knees, elbows and knuckles appear lighter for the moment, but thats only because the areas have just been cleaned and scrubbed really well. You’ll get the same results at home, in the shower using professional products and applying a good quality moisturizer.

Let me just say this, ANYTHING that is recommended for lightening skin, first ask to see before and after photos of some of their OTHER African American clients.

Get a list of referrals and check them out yourself. Call, and ask A LOT of question. This is NOT an area where you want to just jump in. (I’ve seen many AA women walk away with discolored skin afterwards from using prescription and professional bleaching products and having the old method of microdermabrasion done to their skin.)

If you still want to go ahead, ask them to do a skin patch test. But remember, that the patch of skin that is tested (which is normally underneath the chin, or along the jaw line) is NOT the same as the skin underneath your ears, the skin of your cheeks, and so on. So you may be fine having a bleaching cream applied righy along the jaw line, but when you apply it all over your face, you may become discolored.

As far as the knees, elbow, and knuckles, I recommend you keep them smooth to the touch by exfoliating daily.

1990 said...

I just want to say I am really enjoying this disscussion and I am taking away much needed vital information. I wish some of my peers would view this site.

Just to put the whole michelle obama thing into context I'll provide a few links:


http://www.barack-obama-photos.com/Photos-Michelle-Obama.html


And this:
http://frillr.com/files/images/michelle-obama.jpg

compared to this:http://www.daylife.com/photo/0b1PgS2fL9fZN/Michelle_Obama

I mean she does look like a different woman with updated style and flare. She looks a lot more happy and confident.

She even looks younger now if you ask me
http://www.daylife.com/photo/00tDa8k0uU4M3/Michelle_Obama

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3353/3202609457_6e2bf94138.jpg

cami said...

Hello everyone the posts regarding appearance/marrying well are very interesting.
Maybe bw in the midwest (especially in the detroit area) should look into investing in real estate in detroit. The average home price there now is like 18K. I know detroit is like a no mans land right now but property there is cheap right now.

roslynholcomb said...

When we were growing up my mother worked as a domestic for some of the wealthiest families in our community. One of the benefits of this was that she would see what they did with their kids and would come home and do those things with us. So, we were taught the proper way to sit and conduct ourselves. Of course, my mother knew some of this as apparently back in the day no matter how poor you were you had home-training. The notion of speaking loud or being crass in an effort to 'keep it real' was anathema to her and not tolerated. My mother was very conscious of class and wouldn't tolerate 'low class' behavior under any circumstance.

My mother was a skilled seamstress and could make any outfit just from seeing it in a store window. She had an eye for styling and fashion and taught me when I was young how to dress myself properly and what was appropriate for my figure and what simply is not. I developed a style very early on, classmates of mine laugh because I dress pretty much the same way I dressed in high school. I invest my money in well-made worsted wool trousers and cashmere sweater sets. I have a gazillion of them, some I've had for more than 20 years. Because that's something else I was taught from an early age: Buy quality and take care of it.

I probably have a half dozen pair of Cole Haan loafers. Pricey, yes, but most of mine are a decade old. When I buy them I spray them down with water-proofing spray I hand polish them regularly, wipe them down and keep them in plastic shoe boxes. (Drill holes in the shoe boxes, natural materials need to breathe.) I take care of my cashmere the way most people do a newborn, handwash, never dry clean. Dry cleaners recycle their chemicals and I never want that nastiness in my clothes.

My look, well tailored trousers and sweater sets is very flattering to my tall, but curvy figure. I'm bosomy, so I like wrap dresses, and v-necks. Always, always, purchase good foundation garments. Even though we were poor, I have never in my life owned a bra that didn't cost at least $50. Typically I buy three or four a year. Hand-wash them, it makes them last long. Getting fitted for your brassieres is crucial, honestly, nothing is more important. Your body changes, I actually lost a cup size after nursing for 18 months. Get refitted every year, and give Victoria Secret a pass. Their lingerie is pathetic. Find a style that works for you and stick with it. I've been wearing the same ones for about five years now. Prior to nursing I'd worn the same style since high school. Bras are so important that when I was a social worker I would take my girls to be fitted. The state of Alabama was always concerned when they'd get receipts for fifty dollar bras for foster children. I think it was worth it to transform them from hoochie mamas to young ladies.

cami said...

Jailmaster- I too come from a family that values education. My family is creole/ african american. My family might be a little too extreme. They value education over money. They want me to obtain a phd. Both my parents have graduated from ivy league schools. My father has a phd. My mother has two masters degrees. One in biology and one in chemistry.
I think I know the difference between marrying well and marrying rich ( I am not really around millionaires all day lol). I wouldnt consider athletes or anyone that works in the entertainment industry a "catch" ( I dont mean to sound snobbish). My family would go berserk if I bought home a basketball player or a rapper.

daphne said...

Lisa said:

As much as some sistas do not want to admit it, afros are not flattering on everyone. Chemical hair is not flattering on everyone either. It depends.

Some women look hip and trendy with dreds... other women's faces look a lot more masculine with dreds.

Wearing a short, short fro that is cropped like a man is NOT a look for every sista. Some sistas look fantastic and chic (like Grace Jones) and other sistas look like tomboys.


Thank you for speaking plainly about this. One disconcerting theme I've read frequently among some black blogs is the idea that every black woman SHOULD wear their hair in its natural texture. In the past, I've even read comments from those who flat out insult black women who admit to relaxing their hair. I understand there are many black women who reject their hair texture because they hate it, but to hold up one beauty ideal as completely superior over another because of our internalized issues is misguided, no matter how you slice it. Just as it is wrong for criticize a woman who embraces her natural hair texture (i.e. Ew your hair is nappy, you need to perm it!), it's also wrong to flip the script (i.e. you need to get over your self-hate and stop relaxing your hair!). If the idea is to embrace the range of beauty that black women possess, it seems rather counterproductive to then hold one aspect as superior over another.

Lisa's assessment of other parts of the body have me thinking as well.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Evia!

You said, "If you've noticed on my site, I continue to get notes from bw who are trying to talk themselves into mating with men who are either "unfit, unwilling, and/or unable" to be good providers and they want me to tell them that they're not being foolish. If they go ahead and do it, this situation can and usually does put tremendous stress on the woman and the relationship as time goes on."

Yes, I've noticed this. For a woman to CHOOSE a "crumb bearer" (AND the suffering that accompanies marrying a man who is an incompetent provider) is the height of insanity. And leads to DECADES of unecessary stress and suffering.

Also, many of these women aggravate the problem by choosing to live out stay at home mom fantasies with men who CANNOT afford to support that particular fantasy. One of my cousins did this, even though she had a degree. She married a "crumb bearer," and promptly stopped working to be a stay at home mom. Of course, there was never enough. For anything.

There was never enough to have the children wearing new clothes each season. There was never enough for extra, enriching "perks" for the children such as music lessons, etc. There was never enough for her to have decent clothes. There was never enough to buy a RELIABLE, new car. Which meant broke-down-hoopty drama. Which meant trudging through the streets and on the bus with groceries.

Obviously, there was never enough for things like family vacations, or nights out for her and her husband.

You said, "Usually, things come to a head, and there is a break-up with the woman left with the children, which is the quickest route into poverty for a typical AA woman."

Yep. Need I mention that my cousin and her husband are no longer together? She did manage to keep the marriage officially afloat, and suck the marrow from her "crumb bearer" husband's bones until the kids were high-schoolers. [I say this because she KNEW he was poor, and would be a LOUSY provider when she married him. She then did a "bait & switch," and abruptly stopped working as soon as they got married.]

Need I mention that the now-young adult children are resentful of how they scuffled all their lives? And angry about all the extra "perks" they missed out on that the rest of their cousins enjoyed?

All of this could have been avoided if she had selected a man who could afford to provide for her in the manner that she wanted.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Daphne!

You said, "One disconcerting theme I've read frequently among some black blogs is the idea that every black woman SHOULD wear their hair in its natural texture. In the past, I've even read comments from those who flat out insult black women who admit to relaxing their hair. I understand there are many black women who reject their hair texture because they hate it, but to hold up one beauty ideal as completely superior over another because of our internalized issues is misguided, no matter how you slice it."

I REFUSE to allow natural hair evangelists to start hair wars here. I find that whole mindset offensive, arrogant, and often grossly mistaken.

First of all, many of the natural hair evangelicals are assuming that natural hair = elevated consciousness. NOT. Nowadays, a hair-do is simply a hair-do. NOT a political or spiritual statement.

Second, many of these natural hair evangelicals don't seem to realize that a lot of BW are wearing their hair naturally because they have given up trying to do anything else with it. For many BW, natural hair styles are NOT an affirmative choice (even though they play it off as if it is); they're an admission of defeat.

Many of these women either don't have the money to keep other styles looking together. Or, they aren't willing to invest the energy in keeping relaxed styles looking together. Not every BW who's wearing natural hair is wearing it as a crown. Many are just too trifling to do anything that obviously requires more upkeep.

Finally, I also get the feeling with some of these natural hair evangelicals that they have issues about their hair; and this is the TRUE motive they have for browbeating other BW over some hair. Many of these natural hair evangelicals "doth protest too much." When I wore my hair in braids and a natural, I didn't run around browbeating others who weren't wearing natural styles.

Bottom line: I'm NOT having any of that here.

Peace, blessings, and solidarity.

Khadija said...

It seems that yet another Negro has allegedly killed his wife (and 4 out of her 5 children, ages 3-14). Here's the link:

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/
rss/topstories/*http:
//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090306/
ap_on_re_us/cleveland_five_dead

If the link doesn't work, you can google him, his name is Davon Crawford. The police haven't found him yet.

{very long sigh}

Evia said...

Khadija, on the subject of being 'polished,' another thing is that black women MUST behave with decorum in public!! It won't do any good to be polished in appearance if large numbers of bw are behaving in an uncouth way in public--loud and rowdy. I hear bw--who are dressed like they should know better--in major downtown areas of big cities--walking down the street talking loud to each.

That's another myth that you hear AAs continue to spread--that "Black folks are just ***NATURALLY*** loud. This is just NOT true. Or it shouldn't be.

As many of us as possible MUST beat that drum and somehow manage to get that through the grapevine that bw don't have to be loud. As I've told my sons, being loud in public is simply UNCOUTH behavior. The fact that some bw are loud, rowdy, and uncouth acting in public really tarnishes ALL of us.

I'm BEGGING those of you who can talk to other bw (sisters, cousins, girlfriends, daughters, etc.) about this, PLEASE DO! I think some bw think this is just the way a bw is ***supposed*** to act or "act black." Being loud and boisterous in public does not show or prove that a bw is "strong." It just proves that she is unrefined or uncouth. I heard a black professional woman declare a few months ago that she's just loud and can't talk in a low voice.

I don't even want to get into this myth that AA women are "strong." That's just another myth. Strong women would NEVER allow themselves to be treated the way the majority of AA women allow it. So many AA women actually boast about being "strong." Strong is what MEN are thought to be and if an AA woman is already strong, a man figures that she doesn't need a man. Now, I may be what's called "strong," but I don't even want that "strong" label attached to me. LOL! I may be resourceful and creative, but I am NOT "strong." Also, I think that a woman can be so-called "strong" but she must still behave in a demure, ladylike manner. Males are just a LOT more attracted to that type of woman.

The term "lady" might make some women nauseous, but this is what MOST men prefer. I think a lot of men actually like a "purring" woman sometimes, and y'all I can purr when I want to do that!! LOL! Purring around males can be very effective--even in a business situation. Sometimes, when in a vending situation, I purr at male customers and they usually buy items, for their wives, girlfriends, daughters or whomever, but they still buy. It rarely fails. It simply makes men feel good. I think it actually makes men feel more manly. Okay, I know some of y'all are nauseous right about now. LOL!!!

Also, I know this is going to sound really archaic, but "young LADIES are supposed to behave with decorum at all times."

More bw need to speak softly and/or in a lowered voice at ALL times in public. And do not EVER curse in public! Even if every other woman is cursing, it doesn't mean that a bw should curse. And is it really ever NECESSARY to curse--in a public situation?

But here's another example of bw behaving badly in public.

I was at the fabric store the other day and as soon as I walked in, I heard loud voices. I looked around and there were two young bw about 25 or so and they were talking very loud about "thread" to one of the storeclerks. I wondered why their voices could be heard all over the large store. They were NOT arguing with the clerk; they were just talking.

Anyway, I went back and found what I was looking for and as I approached the cash register area, they came up to me and asked me a question about thread. Well, it turned out that they were muslims, and I thought about you. LOL!

One of them was wearing a black headwrap balled up at the back, but she was wearing dirty gray sweatpants and a sweatshirt with splotches and stains on the front of the shirt and on her pants. She was the one who was VERY loud; the other one was more subdued. Also, the other one was was dressed regularly. They asked me if I sewed and when I said yes, they asked me whether I knew how to make something like an "overdress?" I told them I didn't.
Anyway, I stood and chatted with them for a few minutes telling them they needed to get a pattern and the rest would be much easier because the subdued one said she'd bought a sewing machine. As we chatted, the loud one was still loud and rowdy throughout the whole conversation. The salespeople vanished towards the back of the store. LOL!

As I moved toward the cash register to pay for my items, I stopped to look at magazines and they moved ahead of me. The loud one leaned down or rather flopped the top half of her body down on the salescounter all over the counter as if she didn't have a backbone and her sweatshirt pulled all the way up halfway her back!! Not only did I see the bare skin halfway up her back, but I also saw the very top of the crack of her butt!!! Now just suppose a man had been standing there?!!!

It was so clear that she had NO hometraining. I think the other one was embarrassed because she said, "You need to stand up; you're acting just like a kid!"

And both of these women had daughters!! They'd told me that they wanted their daughters to learn how to sew. It will take divine intervention to salvage the daughter of that loud woman.

energize said...

"Many of these women either don't have the money to keep other styles looking together. Or, they aren't willing to invest the energy in keeping relaxed styles looking together."
-----
When trying to exercise 5 – 6 days per week certain styles can be a maintenance nightmare. I think bw who wear their hair natural (wash and wear) tend to run, swim and generally exercise more. BW have a tendency to use "I just got my hair done" as one of the many excuses not to work-out. I’ve seen some workout with a wig on their head. I would think that would cause you to over-heat.

trying to make a change said...

I am sitting here almost in tears. Khadija, you described your cousin and I am thinking are we related. I am doing the exact same thing. Oh lord.

I have made my bed and I am trying to make the best of it but how do I make sure my daughter does not make the same mistakes. She is young but I can tell she will be tall, muscular built and dark skinned and highly intelligent. Those things seem like liabilities in todays world. I know this is awful but I feel so worried for her when it comes time to marry. I just want to raise her to realize that she is worthy of decent life, something I never believed about myself.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Evia!

You said, "Khadija, on the subject of being 'polished,' another thing is that black women MUST behave with decorum in public!! It won't do any good to be polished in appearance if large numbers of bw are behaving in an uncouth way in public--loud and rowdy. I hear bw--who are dressed like they should know better--in major downtown areas of big cities--walking down the street talking loud to each."

What you're describing are most likely striver-professionals who have continued the slum habit of loud talking. I see plenty of such folks at work. It's ridiculous.

You said, "I heard a black professional woman declare a few months ago that she's just loud and can't talk in a low voice."

Since I'm saying things the rough and unambiguous way in this thread, I'll continue in this spirit: The woman you just described is a ghetto clown and a fool.

I WON'T engage in conversations with such clowns in public. I REFUSE to have MY professional image tarnished by being seen talking to somebody that ignorant. I had a supervisor like that. I wouldn't talk to HER in the hallways, etc.

I insisted upon office appointments for any conversation that would extend beyond "Good Morning, have a good day." This woman still hasn't caught the many hints about why she is NOT respected at work.

You said, "The term "lady" might make some women nauseous, but this is what MOST men prefer. I think a lot of men actually like a "purring" woman sometimes, and y'all I can purr when I want to do that!! LOL! Purring around males can be very effective--even in a business situation...

...It simply makes men feel good. I think it actually makes men feel more manly. Okay, I know some of y'all are nauseous right about now. LOL!!!"


I don't understand why most BW act like they don't know this BASIC human fact. Men don't find HARD-acting women attractive!!! And let's just call it what it is---this so-called "strong Black woman" behavior is actually quite BUTCH.

And let's think about who it is that actually wants a butch woman. It's NOT most straight men!!! Let's stop the madness and the fake confusion about this issue. It's time to stop "playing the nut role." About MANY things.


You said, "Also, I know this is going to sound really archaic, but "young LADIES are supposed to behave with decorum at all times."

EXACTLY!

{hanging my head in deep embarassment about the Muslim women you saw in the fabric store---sigh}

_________________

Greetings, Energize!

You said, "I think bw who wear their hair natural (wash and wear) tend to run, swim and generally exercise more."

This sounds like natural hair evangelical propaganda to me. I don't believe this.
_____________________

Greetings, TryingToMakeaChange!

You said, "I am sitting here almost in tears. Khadija, you described your cousin and I am thinking are we related. I am doing the exact same thing. Oh lord.

I have made my bed and I am trying to make the best of it but how do I make sure my daughter does not make the same mistakes."


Where there is life, there is hope. You don't have to resign yourself to your current situation. You don't have to write off the possibility of having a better life for yourself. There is MORE to hope for than simply making sure that your daughter avoids your past mistakes.

There really IS the hope and possibility of ABUNDANT LIFE. For YOU, as well as your daughter. But the thing is, that you'll have to struggle for it. It won't be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.

The first step is to "get your mind right & MADE UP." I've seen that there's very little in this world that can resist the power of a made-up mind. If you are serious about abundant life, you'll have to make up your mind that you won't accept less. And that you're willing to do what has to be done.

You know your own circumstances. You know your own skill set. You know that if you look really hard, there ARE opportunities to make at least a small amount of money on the side. It doesn't have to start out as a lot. The point is to get some forward momentum going.

For example, my coworker's mother recently retired after working many decades as a grocery store cashier. During the past 5 years, this lady started baking and selling homemade cookies on the side. First, she started with bringing the cookies to work 2 days a week to sell to coworkers. Then, she started bringing tins of fresh cookies to sell at her hairdresser's salon once a week. It all added up. She has since started a side business with these cookies.

People around you might not actually support the idea of you seeking abundance. It's usually best not to discuss these things before you start working on them. Talking about stuff gives the people that you don't know are actually crabs in a barrel advance notice, so they can discourage you.

You said, "She is young but I can tell she will be tall, muscular built and dark skinned and highly intelligent. Those things seem like liabilities in todays world. I know this is awful but I feel so worried for her when it comes time to marry."

These attributes are only liabilities in all-Black social settings. It is imperative that you do what you can to expose your daughter to a wider range of peers.

You said, "I just want to raise her to realize that she is worthy of decent life, something I never believed about myself."

It's hard to sell something that you wouldn't buy. I would strongly urge you to do what you can to raise your OWN spirits about yourself. Otherwise, your daughter is probably picking up on your beliefs about your own self-worth.

Please take the time to read the Self-Determination series of posts AND comments. You might find some of the other readers' comments and ideas to be helpful.

Please start with the post from December 24,2008 entitled, "Self-Determination, Part 1: My Dark-Skinned Sisters, STOP Letting Biracial, Bicultural, Multicultural, Light-Skinned Women Wear YOUR Stolen Crown!"

And then read Part 2 of this series, where one reader explains in detail how she got her "crown" back.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

roslynholcomb said...

That baking thing is no joke. I've been amazed at what people will pay for homemade cookies and cakes. I mainly sell those around the holidays I also do some crafting and sell at flea markets and such. Typically I make small lap quilts, baby quilts and doll quilts. People will pay well for hand-crafted items. Of course there are always fools who will tell me they can get a quilt at Target, I tell them to go on then, but I'm not giving my quilts away.

I hesitate to say this, but I've been quilting since I was nine, and I've never successfully sold items to black people. I'm not sure what the deal is, but even affluent blacks don't seem to appreciate handmade items. I suppose to them store-bought is better. Familiarity breeding contempt and all that. I have greater success on etsy, ebay and at flea markets.

Anonymous said...

on the subject of grooming
I work at a tech school where we have a cosmetology program. I got my hair permed and styled for 15 bucks. I go every 6 weeks for a touch up. A wash and set is only 6 buck. Of course these are students but I have never had any hair problems after a service. Look in to a hair school or a tech school in your neighborhood. Also if you have a Aveda School in your city you can get a wash and set for 12-15 dollars. Aveda has excellent products and services. A touch up relaxer is 35-45 dollars. It is better thatn paying 55-100 dollars like I used to. So bw who are resourceful and smart can look polished and pretty for less.
On the bras discussion I would never ever pay 50.00 for a bra. Bras are under wear not clothing. I have never payed more than 7 for a bra. I worked in retail for years in discount and department stores and you can get nice bras from 3-10 dollars at the most. Go to Ross,TJMax and Marshals stay away from the high end department stores. If you like designers like
Warcoal,Calvin Klein,etc then go to the stores i mentioned because they have them for less.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Roslyn!

You said, "That baking thing is no joke. I've been amazed at what people will pay for homemade cookies and cakes. I mainly sell those around the holidays I also do some crafting and sell at flea markets and such."

Yep. There's money to be made supplying folks with tasty, homemade goodies.

You said, "I hesitate to say this, but I've been quilting since I was nine, and I've never successfully sold items to black people. I'm not sure what the deal is, but even affluent blacks don't seem to appreciate handmade items. I suppose to them store-bought is better. Familiarity breeding contempt and all that. I have greater success on etsy, ebay and at flea markets."

Each market segment has its own quirks. We've got ours. It's best to do what you did: Find the market segment that WANTS and APPRECIATES what you're offering. And stop wasting time with those who don't.

It's funny, but as Evia noted, this same principle also applies to BW and the marriage pool. BW need to start going where we are appreciated, and stop going where we are not appreciated.

Peace, blessings, and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Anonymous!

Considering that I'm already annoying plenty of readers with my comments, I won't join any new debates that I don't have strong feelings about either way. So, I have no comment about the "bra debate." LOL!

You said, "So bw who are resourceful and smart can look polished and pretty for less."

EXACTLY! Women who have made up their minds that they're going to look polished and pretty find ways to do so.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

energize said...

You said, "I think bw who wear their hair natural (wash and wear) tend to run, swim and generally exercise more."

This sounds like natural hair evangelical propaganda to me. I don't believe this.
---

Didn't mean to communicate natural hair propaganda, esp. since I'm not. GROWN women should wear their hair any way they choose.

Khadija said...

Thank goodness that the jailbird who committed this latest Jailbird Massacre is dead. From Yahoo News:

"CLEVELAND – A man suspected of killing his newlywed wife, his sister-in-law and three young children killed himself Friday after police forced their way into the home he had fled to and found him hiding in a bathroom, authorities said.

Across the street from the home where Davon Crawford shot himself in the head, several dozen people lined up behind yellow police tape and cheered as a sheet-covered stretcher was removed from the house."


I understand why they were cheering this demon's demise. It's too bad that he didn't start by shooting himself in the head.

When will BW learn to STOP "giving ex-con brothas a chance" and to leave jailbirds alone?

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Evia:

I don't even want to get into this myth that AA women are "strong." That's just another myth. Strong women would NEVER allow themselves to be treated the way the majority of AA women allow it.

My reply:

As I think of the "strength" mythology, I'm reminded of something Joan Morgan discussed in When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, that the myth developed as a badge of honor in response to the depradations earlier generation of black women lived through, that black women's very survival meant their strength. But in today's world, that mythology of strength seems to have become a rationale instead for either justifying abuse of black women or excusing it--black women are "strong," so what would really harm other women does not really harm them. The danger in that though is that it harkens back to arguments slave owners once made in justifying the very abuse they put black women through. So why are black women using a mythology that harkens back to white slave masters' historic mistreatment of them?

Khadija said...

Evia and Halima,

More thoughts about "rebranding":

Many of the ideas and virtues that you've both been discussing seem to overlap with many of the ideas of a field called Positive Psychology. From Wikipedia:

"Positive psychology is a recent branch of psychology that "studies the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive". Positive psychologists seek "to find and nurture genius and talent", and "to make normal life more fulfilling", not to cure mental illness.

Several humanistic psychologists——such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Erich Fromm——developed successful theories and practices that involved human happiness. Recently the theories of human flourishing developed by these humanistic psychologists have found empirical support from studies by humanistic and positive psychologists, such as in the area of self-determination theory.

Current empirical researchers in positive psychology include Martin Seligman, Ed Diener,Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, C. R. Snyder, Christopher Peterson, Barbara Fredrickson, Donald Clifton, Albert Bandura, Shelley Taylor, Charles S. Carver, Michael F. Scheier, and Jonathan Haidt.

...The development of the Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) handbook represents the first attempt on the part of the research community to identify and classify the positive psychological traits of human beings.

Much like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of general psychology, the CSV provides a theoretical framework to assist in developing practical applications for positive psychology. This manual identifies six classes of virtue (i.e., "core virtues"), made up of twenty-four measurable character strengths.

...The organization of these virtues and strengths is as follows:

. Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective

. Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality

. Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence

. Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership

. Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility, prudence, self control

. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality

Practical applications of positive psychology include helping individuals and organizations identify their strengths and use them to increase and sustain their respective levels of well-being.

Therapists, counselors, coaches, and various other psychological professionals can use the new methods and techniques to build and broaden the lives of individuals who are not necessarily suffering from mental illness or disorder."


I'll keep reading. Maybe a term from this field of study efficiently sums up the "survive and thrive" philosophy that we've been discussing. If so, we might consider using that term to identify our emerging philosophy; AND to distinguish ourselves from the "acting Black" crew.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JaliliMaster said...

I've made this comment before on another blog, and I'll make it again. I think that when most black women refer to themselves and fellow black women as strong, what they really mean is 'longsuffering', even though they may not realise it. I've heard people say with pride: "my mother worked three jobs when I(and my siblings were young), put us through school, and took care of everything, ALL ON HER OWN." There is NOTHING to be proud of in the fact that one's mother HAD to work three jobs. Be proud that she was able to do all those things for you and do everything within her power to make sure you turned out well, but there is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to be proud of in terms of her HAVING to have worked at three different jobs AT THE SAME TIME! It seems that some of them expect applause when they mention that their mother had to go through this.

As far as I'm concerned, this 'strong black woman' mantra is just an extension of the mammy-sapphire-jezebel progression. There is nothing strong about having to raise several kids all on your own when their father is a deadbeat/absentee/jailbird. There is nothing strong about going back to a man who beats you. There is nothing strong about being with a man who chases other women. There is nothing strong about being able/willing to get into a fight on the street. There is nothing strong about having a 'kept' man. There is nothing strong about waiting and waiting for that man, opening one's legs for him, popping out his kids, and STILL waiting for him to put a ring on your finger.

I cringe whenever I hear black women say that the only reason black men date these other race women is because they are not strong. Ask them how these women are not 'strong' they cannot come up with a common sense answer. There are white/latina/native american/asian single mothers who are able to take care of their kids on their own and raise them to be decent people. It's not just black women that can do this. There are also these other race women who can put themselves through school while going through some sort of hardship, not just black women. And frankly, seeing as it is not hordes of these races of women who are going to spend their life in endless unawanted spinsterdom, babymomma/babydaddy drama, etc., who is really the strong woman and who is weak? I've seen a black woman be referred to as weak by another black woman BECAUSE SHE HAD A SOFT VOICE! I've seen another bw call a fellow sister a 'weak-ass' because she didn't like confrontation. I know of a young black girl who is referred to as 'not strong' because she tends to prefer to keep to herself at school. It is just so ridiculous!

I have a friend(aquaintance) who works in an office in which there is a black female superior. This woman is reasonably friendly(I don't know the woman, but this acquaintance of mine says so). She is a single mother of three(she is actually married to the father of her children, but he split some time ago), she is good at her job and is well liked by most in the office and almost, always has a smile on her face. And yes, she is pretty much what one would call 'the strong black woman'. One day, this friend of mine entered the office bathroom and heard someone crying in one of the toilet cubicles. It was this woman. Turns out, she was so overwhelmed with life, but felt she had to continue to portray this 'strong' persona, and she had no kind of support from anywhere else, even her family. Afterall, she is a strong black woman, and doesn't need help, it is her job to help everybody else. On the outside, one would think this woman was doing well, afterall, despite the fact that her hubby had turned out to be a deadbeat, she was well employed, making decent money, her kids weren't suffering FINANCIALLY(despite the fact that she was the SOLE provider). She just became so overwhelmed with life and the pressure to conform to someone elses expectations of her as a black woman, that she had this breakdown in the office, and had to run to the toilet to let it out. Another white woman in their office heard about it, and commented to my friend: "I'm surprised. I thought she's strong and all that." My friend asked what she meant by that. This white woman replied:"Well you know, she's a black woman". (this my friend is also black). "I thought you guys were supposed to be able to handle all this sort of stuff."

JaliliMaster said...

"I'll keep reading. Maybe a term from this field of study efficiently sums up the "survive and thrive" philosophy that we've been discussing. If so, we might consider using that term to identify our emerging philosophy; AND to distinguish ourselves from the "acting Black" crew."

Do you think that it would be possible to come up with a term with a reasonably universal meaning to describe this philosophy. Like say when one mentions feminism, most people would have an idea what the idea is, even though there may be different interpretations of and approaches to it. Same for womanism, conservative, etc.

A thought passed through my head, when I was reading either this post or the one two posts ago. If one decides to open up some sort of a finishing school for girls(in this case, young black girls), would it be a good idea? Now I don't mean the normal type of school, I'm talking more in terms of teaching them about the sort of things one would read on these blogs. Ofcourse, what they are taught would differ depending on their age. Those about entering, say, secondary school can be taught about self-worth, positive self-image, proper behaviour(especially in public), etc. while those who are in the later stages of high school can be taught about judging quality men. I know some may say it's early, but at the age of 16, a girl should be able to identify some certain positive traits in males. This is the average age when young girls first start dating, and it is vital to get them when their minds are still fresh. I'm still relatively young, so I won't pretend to know much about most things, but does anyone think a programme like this could be a good idea? Even if it's just a summer school type thing?

JaliliMaster said...

The following is a comment made by Khadija on the "Are you ready to feel flawless" post:

"Furthermore, I believe that popular AA culture's elevation of coarseness over refinement is harming our collective interests. It's not a short leap from rejecting elegance as a "White" concept to accepting truly demeaning & degrading fashions. It's all connected."

I personally, think that leap has already been made. Look at what a large proportion of (urban)black youth accept as 'fashion'. I'm not just talking about the men. Tell them to talk about couture, they'll mention House of Dereon, or even worse, PhatPharm! The black designers who actually have talent are completely unknown to them. There was a picture of Kim Kardashian on a black entertainment site. She was wearing below-knee purple boots, fitting blue jeans, a wine red loose overflowing shirt/wrap, and was carrying a purpleish/reddish bag. On their own, these items of clothing would have been good. But combined they weren't. I was surprised by the number of women who were complimenting her choice in fashion. I kept on pointing out to them that the very 90's concept of exactly matching bag and shoes was, well, 90's, but it was COMPLETELY lost on them. Too many of us think that all that matters is that we colour coordinate, without making sure that the clothes we put together actually make sense style-wise. I saw the same picture on a white blog(y'all call it mainstream, I just call it white). Majority of the people posting were of the opinion that her outfit was garish and over-the-top. I kept wondering why this simple fact that I noticed immediately I saw the picture was completely lost on the women posting on the black blog. And bear in mind that majority of these women cannot stand Kim Kardashian(don't blame them she is a cretin), would otherwise have 'dissed' her outfit. That should tell you how much they actually liked what this woman was wearing.

I've seen people try to look 'rich' by wearing leopard print. In most cases, this is a big no-no. This design works only on very few occasions, so to me, is just not worth the risk. It used to be only newly rich white folks who came from trash that used to throw on such monstrous designs. Nowadays, I see to many black folks doing the same.

Additionally, do we even know the difference between a cocktail dress and evening wear? Do we know how to make-up depending on the time of day and what type of function we are attending? How about what type of outfit to wear on a date DEPENDING on where the date is taking place? People think these things don't matter, but they do. Recently(about a year ago), my mum attended an evening function. She rarely goes to these sort of official events. It's either a wedding or some other type of party where one has to 'show', and buy the most expensive outfit/jewellery that she attends. Infact, the last time I can remember my mum attending such an event was when I was little and such a function was thrown in honour of my dad, as he was moving back to Nigeria from the comapny he worked in.

I noticed that when my mum travelled to England, she was unusually eager to buy what she called 'evening wear'. She always shops, but not for those sort of clothes. She eventually told my sis and I what the real problem was. When she attended this function, she wore a suit. To an evening function. She said she was completely unaware that there was a way to dress to stuff like that, as she hadn't been to one in ages. She is not the sort to expose her body, so she didn't want any strapless gowns, thin-strip etc. When she told us, I was looking at her in disbelief. How could you wear a suit as evening wear? She said she was soooo embarrased when she got there and saw how the other women were dressed. This is why it's good to do research. The fact that it is an official event doesn't mean one should dress as if they are going to the office, as my mother did. If you're not sure, just ask. More than one person.

Additionally, the fact that you see an outfit look good on somebody else doesn't mean it will look good on you. You have to take into account your body shape. A larger woman, should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE, wear something that stops more than two inches above the knee, and that is asking alot. Similarly, know your assets. If you have good legs, fair enough, buy don't bare both up and down. If you're wearing shorts that stop, say, midway between the knees and bum, DO NOT show cleavage. Way too much flesh. If you are wearing shorts that are midway between the knees and your waist, the same applies(do not wear if you are not slim, it will NEVER look good). If you are wearing shorts midway between your knees and your boobs.............DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE!

JaliliMaster said...

"This concept of personal grooming & self-cultivation applies on sooo many levels. I see it on the underclass level of my mostly Black clients in court. They haven't learned (and see no need) to control their facial expressions while they're in court. They have all sorts of mannerisms that are totally counterproductive to whatever point they think they're making.

They act like Jerry Springer's audience. This is NOT helpful. I've watched individual jurors close their minds after seeing neck rolls, waving hands, and grimaces."

A few days ago, I was watching Judge Judy. A black woman was being sued by a white man(who was her ex). He had work exhaustion so had to admit himself to a mental facility for about two weeks so he could rest and get madication. They both had decent arguments and none of them was really wrong(or ateast too wrong). However, the black woman kept on rolling her eyes and hissing(i.e. kissing her teeth), whenever the man said something she didn't agree with. I wondered how Judge Judy was able to tolerate that, as usually, she'd put someone exhibiting such behaviour in their place. What was worse, is that this woman wasn't even 'ghetto'.

Isn't it possible that seeing as life would already be quite difficult for alot of the black attorneys, having clients such as the one you mentioned would make winning their case much more difficult. This ends up being a further hindrance to the attorney. I remember some years ago, I was watching 'The Practice'(or is it 'Peak Practice', can't remember which one is the law show and which is the medical show). A case was being argued for a black male defendant. The judge, at the end of every trial, always gives some sort of lecture to the defendant, irrespective of whether they are acquitted or not. Most people would find what he was saying funny, as he was talking alot of mumbo jumbo. However, this judge took his words seriously, and before handing down a sentence or verdict, would always give this 'talk'. He thought he was doing them good. When it came to the turn of this defendant, he started laughing when the judge was 'advising' him. The lawyer had to excuse themselves from the court. He advised his client to hold in his laughter, as everyone else also found the judge amusing, but the judge took his 'words' way too seriously. When they went back, the judge continued, but this foolish man was unable to hold his laughter in. This annoyed the judge, who was going to give him a non-custodial sentence. As a result, the judge handed down a more severe punishment than he otherwise would have. The defendant started blaming his lawyer for this, despite the fact that had he behaved his age, he would have walked out of the court a free man.

Halima said...

PioneerValleyWoman said...

But in today's world, that mythology of strength seems to have become a rationale instead for either justifying abuse of black women or excusing it--black women are "strong," so what would really harm other women does not really harm them. The danger in that though is that it harkens back to arguments slave owners once made in justifying the very abuse they put black women through. So why are black women using a mythology that harkens back to white slave masters' historic mistreatment of them?


Because as usual pvw, bw are always behind the curve. they are always waking up and clueing up late and after everyone else!

JaliliMaster said...

I remeber when Evia once posted a story(NOTE: I said she posted a story/link to what was said as opposed to giving her own opinion on the issue, yet, she got alot of grief for it, even on several other sites). It was about some sort of IR mixer, made up, pretty much of bw and wm. It turns out, that the woman who organised it(bw) said that many of the wm who came had very similar complaints. They said that the women were, well, 'too big'. To my understanding, the people attending were all professional, well employed. Evia pointed out what this woman had said was complained about my many of the men in attendance, which resulted in there not being many pairing-offs.

There was a certain blog owner who seemed to take issue with this. She felt it was 'fat' discrimination. She said that she was an overweight, light-skinned woman, so why should she be expected to not 'benefit' from having light skin, but slim women should be able to benefit from being slender and no one calls it discrimination. Personally, I sort of got the vibe that she felt that her being light-skinned should override the fact that she was overweight. She said that had it been black men that had turned these women down for the same reason, 'we' would have attacked them. I was like, 'uh uh'. I don't expect a fit, healthy man, of any race, to get criticism for wanting a fit, healthy woman. I have to admit, I make exceptions for women who have recently given birth, as I know that is a different issue all together, and as far as I know, it is, in most cases, not very easy to shift baby weight.

I think it was on Black Girls Rock, that a particular poster started complaining that the type of wm that approach her aren't the type she's attracted to. She wanted the Brad Pitt's, the Gerard Butler's, Paul Walker's etc. But most of the wm who came to 'chat her up' were usually overweight and/or not very good looking. I then asked whether she looked like Gabby Union. No reply. This silly girl actually went on to say that it wasn't 'fair', that anytime she saw a white guy with a black girl, she was usually tall, and always slender. Turns out, this poster is overweight(she and many of the other posters on the board refused to see the hypocrisy). She then said that if we(bw), have to accept them(wm) seeing as they age faster, they should accept that we are overweight. As far as she was concerned, it was a 'fair trade'. I asked her whether she was willing to date the white male equivalent of herslef(in terms of physical appearance). She never answered. Excuse me, but even I would do a double take if I see a George Clooney walking down the street with a Monique!

I've seen far too many Black women mock black men of decent/above-average looks and means who date fat, sloppy white/other non-black women. Fair enough, but why would you expect any different with you? About a year ago, Evia once said that when she tells bw to adopt a healthier lifestyle/diet, and that it would increase the likelihood of them finding a mate, yes, even a black mate, she said some of them reply: "But black men date fat white women!" She said that she usually thinks: "So? Does that mean that you should do the same(i.e. remain overweight)"

I've come to the realisation that many of these women's real complaint isn't that black men of means are dating these fat, sloppy white women. It's that they aren't dating fat, sloppy black women. Believe me, there are many black men who would date a black woman who falls into that category, it's just that these men aren't that desirable.

I once heard a black man complain that his issue with black women was that for other race women, when they become overweight, most of them are ready to admit it, and know that they need to change. He said that in the case of black women, majority would pretend that they don't notice that they are nearing obesity, and even if one points it out to them, they would refuse to do anything about it and expect others to act as if it is normal. It is not!

Khadija said...

Hello there, JaliliMaster!

You said, "I think that when most black women refer to themselves and fellow black women as strong, what they really mean is 'longsuffering', even though they may not realise it...

...There is nothing strong about having to raise several kids all on your own when their father is a deadbeat/absentee/jailbird. There is nothing strong about going back to a man who beats you.

There is nothing strong about being with a man who chases other women. There is nothing strong about being able/willing to get into a fight on the street. There is nothing strong about having a 'kept' man. There is nothing strong about waiting and waiting for that man, opening one's legs for him, popping out his kids, and STILL waiting for him to put a ring on your finger."


AMEEN![Amen!] I call this behavior being an exploited fool. Those BF bloggers that have been talking about this, have repeatedly pointed out that the "strong BW" myth is a scam that serves to make exploitation and suffering more palatable to BW. We all need to spread the word about this.

You said, "Do you think that it would be possible to come up with a term with a reasonably universal meaning to describe this philosophy. Like say when one mentions feminism, most people would have an idea what the idea is, even though there may be different interpretations of and approaches to it. Same for womanism, conservative, etc."

Yes. A one-word, general term is what I'm looking for. It might be possible to borrow the name of earlier philosophies from centuries ago, and become the "New" Pragmatists, etc. This has been done by early philosophical movements.

You said, "A thought passed through my head, when I was reading either this post or the one two posts ago. If one decides to open up some sort of a finishing school for girls(in this case, young black girls), would it be a good idea?"

I think this is a good idea. I also think that the first step is for those of us who are the "cadre," "preachers," "ambassadors," ect. of this movement to get our thoughts organized about what it is that we're "preaching."

You said, "I saw the same picture on a white blog(y'all call it mainstream, I just call it white)."

{chuckling---I do the same thing}

To answer your question about Black clients with ghetto mannerisms: Yes, they do many things (neck rolls, interjected comments, eye rolls, etc.) that turn off the jurors who are looking at them.

And it's usually VERY difficult to get them to temporarily stop doing these things. They feel somehow "entitled" to act like this. Also, many of them take the idiotic posture of "I've got to be myself." Even after I warn them that their natural behaviors are NOT appealing to most jurors.

Basically, a lot of Black folks are social savages. Who are PROUD of their ignorance and lack of decorum. Even when it bites them in the buttocks. And then they want to blame everybody/anybody except themselves for the negative things that happen as a result of their behavior. Like the foolish defendant from the tv show that you described.

About BW's resistance to taking heed of warnings about obesity: I think Evia's right that many BW are defensive about this because they are under attack from all angles from everybody.

HOWEVER, many (most?) BW still refuse to hear the message even from people like Evia who have PROVEN that their motives are about BW's uplift!

Speaking for myself, I feel that if some BW can't comprehend that I'm saying these things because I want abundant life for them, then there's nothing that I can do about that. If somebody can read the various posts on this blog and still NOT see what my motives are for these essays, what else could I possibly say to them? Nothing.

I'm slowly realizing that not every message is for everybody.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JaliliMaster said...

Khadija, I've just gotten round to reading the comments on the 'Flawless' post, and Lord knows, you were right about what you said the attitude and reaction was. On one hand, I'm laughing, on the other, I feel like pulling my hair out due to some of the comments. For those of you that haven't read it yet, I suggest you do.

Khadija said...

Hello there, JaliliMaster!

Guurl, now you've seen for yourself. LOL! The Flawless discussion was shocking AND exhausting for me.

But it was also educational for me to see just how DEEP-seated these issues are with so many BW. I had no idea before that particular discussion. Lord have mercy.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JaliliMaster said...

"To answer your question about Black clients with ghetto mannerisms: Yes, they do many things (neck rolls, interjected comments, eye rolls, etc.) that turn off the jurors who are looking at them."

What really annoys me about this type of behaviour is that in such an instance, they would rather believe that it was the lawyer who did a poor job defending them, and try as much as one may, they cannot be convinced that their attitude in the courtroom may have hampered things. I know of some really foolish negro who went to court in flip-flops, baggy sagging shorts and an oversized wife-beater type vest. This fool even put on a chain. The judge ordered him out and the trial date was postponed. The judge told the lawyer that he should let his client know that he will not let anyone disrespect his courtroom looking like that. The lawyer told his client. On the next hearing, this fool came in in EXACTLY the same outfit, except that instead of a vest, he wore an oversized t-shirt, a suit jacket and a north-east facing cap(you have to see it to believe it). The lawyers jaw dropped when he saw his client, and this guy refused to put on a proper attire. When he got to court, the judge asked why he was dressed the same. This defendant couldn't understand why no one else thought he wasn't dressed 'smartly'.
_____________________________


"And it's usually VERY difficult to get them to temporarily stop doing these things. They feel somehow "entitled" to act like this. Also, many of them take the idiotic posture of "I've got to be myself." Even after I warn them that their natural behaviors are NOT appealing to most jurors.

Basically, a lot of Black folks are social savages. Who are PROUD of their ignorance and lack of decorum. Even when it bites them in the buttocks. And then they want to blame everybody/anybody except themselves for the negative things that happen as a result of their behavior. Like the foolish defendant from the tv show that you described."

There is ALOT of behaviour that certain black folks want to believe is normal. If you don't act that way, then you're not 'really black.' Most times, the behaviour tends to be degenerate!

Evia said...

Evia and Halima,

More thoughts about "rebranding":

Many of the ideas and virtues that you've both been discussing seem to overlap with many of the ideas of a field called Positive Psychology . . ."


Hmmm, I SO happy that you're putting critical thought into this re-branding. I'll read up on "positive psychology."

Also, I just want to warn y'all that when we finally choose the brand name, lay out the philosopy clearly, and start the process of delineating, the acting black crew is going to go beserk. They are not going to let us go/set ourselves apart from them without a fight. Even if we were to move into gated communities, they would constantly be trying to storm the gates. Some of them think they're entitled to be with us, even though they claim to dislike us.

It would seem that since they appear to think that they're so "right" and think that something's wrong with us, they'd be happy for us to just be apart from them, but that's NOT what's going to happen.

It would also seem that if 2 groups are not like-minded, they could just part amicably, but secessions are always bloody. I'm not exactly sure all of the reasons why and I don't want to expend energy on trying to figure it out. This is just a historical fact for the most part. Maybe somebody could research amicable secessions?

Basically, a lot of Black folks are social savages. Who are PROUD of their ignorance and lack of decorum. Even when it bites them in the buttocks. And then they want to blame everybody/anybody except themselves for the negative things that happen as a result of their behavior.

Most problems of AAs are self-inflicted these days. If they had the humility to listen to common sense advice and had the discipline to follow through on it, many of their problems would disappear pretty quickly. Instead, these folks are some of the most arrogant people on the planet. They want to argue with you and do what they want to do when they feel like doing it any kind of way and anywhere they want to do it. They are doomed.

I'm slowly realizing that not every message is for everybody.

And this is what I discovered soon after I began blogging. It was obvious that my message was not resonating with some of my site's readers, yet they continued reading my site religiously. They're probably STILL reading everything I write. LOL! I've said in various ways all along: THIS message is not for everybody. For ex.,there are lots of bw who are not ready to leave the bc's madness behind and never will be. This message is not for them, but I'll bet some of them are reading our sites.

Lately, I've been saying, "Take what you can use and trash the rest." It just seems though that there's such a fixation or obssession with what we're talking about and with what Evia says. Some of these folks are just way beyond obsessed with what I say and want attention from me. They "think" I'm talking specifically to them or want me to talk to them, and when I refuse to do that, they take offense and start acting like rabid animals. Or they do sneaky, underhanded things. If they could just understand that this message is NOT for everybody and then go on and click along to another site, they would be doing the smart thing.


And Jalilmaster, all of that stuff that happened was just a bunch of mess. It just gave me the opportunity to study some sick puppies. I didn't take it personally; I studied them just like I used to study my clients. And I learned. As the saying goes: anything seemingly negative is just an opportunity to learn. After some initial annoyance, that's how I view things like that, in general.

So let's not talk about that episode anymore.

Foxycleopatra said...

@ Jalili,

LOL at the court guy. Your stories really crack me up. You had me laughing at my screen!


Gone about half way through the 'Flawless' post. Heading over there now.

Luuurve this blog!

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "Also, I just want to warn y'all that when we finally choose the brand name, lay out the philosopy clearly, and start the process of delineating, the acting black crew is going to go beserk. They are not going to let us go/set ourselves apart from them without a fight. Even if we were to move into gated communities, they would constantly be trying to storm the gates. Some of them think they're entitled to be with us, even though they claim to dislike us."

{loud laughter}This is sooo pitiful, but true. I'm bracing myself for the onslaught.

You said, "It would seem that since they appear to think that they're so "right" and think that something's wrong with us, they'd be happy for us to just be apart from them, but that's NOT what's going to happen."

True. Instead of waving goodbye to the rest of us, instead they will react with FRENZIED, enraged panic. First of all, inwardly they know that they're going down. They DON'T want to see others escape.

Second, they will be infuriated by idea that increasing numbers of us won't be in close enough proximity for them to vent their bile on us. Currently, tormenting the normal, sane Black folks in close proximity is one of their pleasures. That's about to disappear.

What I want to see is increasing numbers of us thriving to the extent that we literally and completely forget about the "acting Black" crew. I want the "acting Black" crew to become TOTALLY irrelevant to every sane Black person's life. To the extent that they are not even a distant, vague memory.

THIS is what the "acting Black" crew fears most of all. They know that non-Blacks aren't giving two thoughts about them. They know that they only exist to the extent that sane Black folks support and pay attention to them. Sane Black folks are the ONLY ones protesting on behalf of social programs, etc. to benefit the "acting Black" crew. ALL of their sustenance is the fruit of sane Black folks' misguided efforts.

Once the host body detaches itself from the parasite, the parasite withers and dies. The end.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

What I've started doing is asking myself in what spirit am I suppose to receive this message. And I start from there.

I don't want to be a person that can only accept truths from other survivors. So I have to work on several things to be able to do that.

Evia, I read your site for the knowledge. You give great tips (like you do on this blog) on things black women should look for when their vetting men. Things AA women should not accept from any man, woman or other earthling, and a whole list of other valuable tools and tips that are useful to me.

JaliliMaster said...

It's not just a case of moving out, but making sure the undesirables don't follow. Notice how a decent black family would move into the neighbourhood, then a few years later, the place has been taken over by criminals from the hood. The fact of the matter is that these type of negro's go where there is familiarity. Because they see black folks, they'd assume that there is someone like them. Little by little, they start testing the waters, seeing how far they can push it. Then, they overrun the place.

There was once this scheme that was started to make a middle/upper-middle class neighbourhood. When black folks from the hood tried to move in(now I'm talking about decent people who are working class but have saved enough money to buy a house in the area, or those who were previously from the hood but were now middle class), these folks were not allowed to but property in the area. They couldn't understand why these fellow middle-class black folks didn't want them there. The reason was that these otherwise good families from the hood would move in in a bid to give their kids a better life, but there was always going to be some nephew that they'd bring along who was undesirable, or their son, who would refuse to leave his 'friends from the hood' behind, or atleast, not bring them into this peaceful neighbourhood. They said they'd seen it happen over and over again, and these families would always try to make excuses for this nephew/other close relative who was bringing their criminally-inclined friends around. As far as they were concerned, preventing their neighbourhood from turning into a middle-class cesspool was more important that not hurting someone else's feelings. I don't blame them.

Aphrodite said...

Hello All,


I will say that the things Evia and Rev Lisa listed all are doable. In my mind most could fall under regular maintenance- that I think most women do some version of anyway.

So basically it is paying attention to details that can contribute to whether or not you are average or polished.



@ Destouet re elbows and knees

There are ways you can do that without resorting to expensive treatments or lightening. :) It may be slower, but it can still get the job done.

I prefer sugar as a scrub because it is less painful, but you can mix either salt or sugar with a mixture of oils (of your choice) to do this. The sugar removes the buildup and the oils moisturize by forming a barrier that seals in water and prevents water loss.


In general:

I have an old jar of this I keep in the bath. You can use olive, avocado, castor, whatever is inexpensive and handy. Dump the sugar in the jar and add the oil over it. It is amazing for feet. Again it is a process, but after one application you would be surprised at the result.

Just kinda soak you body or the areas with water first to soften them and then gently use the scrub.

If you don't have oil you can try sugar/salt mixed with honey, molasses, or sugar cane syrup. The honey, molasses, and sugar cane syrup act as humectants that draw additional water to the skin and prevent the buildup of dead skin.



Another trick that an esthetician taught me for feet is to get the cheapest lotion you can find. Slather it all over your feet- don't rub it in, but just glop it on like a coat. Then take some old plastic grocery bags and tie them around each foot (fastening at the ankles). You may have to double bag as it can be messy. Wear them for a few hours or sleep with them on. Calluses and rough dry skin will be gone or greatly reduced depending on the starting point.

I have tried that a couple of times when I couldn't get a pedicure as I am kind of paranoid about letting people take razors and pumice stones and other implements to my feet sometimes. I really have to scope a place out for cleanliness before I go there. It never seems to fail that I am always the one to get cut and I am sitting there bleeding/burning wondering what disease/infection do I have now and is it curable. LOL



@ Evia

"But bw don't tend to hear these complimentary things said about them, or not nearly enough.....I just think that bw don't hear enough how beautiful we are. "


I can agree with that because I am blushing, smiling, and high just reading it and am considering making it a screensaver.


"And bw, in general, have gorgeous complexions that work with a wide range of colors. Black women also have natural curves like NO other group of women and if we take care of our bodies, many of those curves will stay pretty much where they were for a long time. LOL! We also have skin like no other group of women.

The point is that many wm/nonbm are just mesmerized by our skin shades, skin texture, teeth, hair, eye shapes and expressions (large, sloe-shaped/almond shape, animated) our facial structures (with our awesome cheekbones), plump lips, and our natural vivaciousness, zany sense of humor, our spiritedness, the creativity in our repartee, our natural warmth, the way we can make a man just feel so comfortable talking to us, etc. I know these don't apply to all bw, but many bw just naturally have some of these GIFTS. We tend to just naturally be more fun to be around, according to a bunch of wm I've talked with about this--in detail."





Hi PVW,

I do think that a message can be sent to BW to step up and bring their A game, which I think many BW used to do, but I feel it would have to be presented in a way that doesn't make them feel beat down and as if it is a rigged game so to speak.





Hello Khadija,

"What I find disturbing about all of this is the following question. How did so many AA women get so confused, AND so invested in remaining confused about:

1-What marrying well means; AND
2-What it takes for a woman to be able to marry well?"



I think #1 has a number of factors and number 2 feeds into 1. I feel that whenever the black family started disintegrating and there was a ton messages being thrown about-about the attacks on BM, BW were encouraged to lower what was acceptable in order to keep the race/family together.

I think it is kind of like the story of the frog being in the pot of boiling water. At first it is cool, then it gradually gets warmer (and you don't notice) until its boiling and you're dinner.


It may have started with well at least he pays the bills, which morphed into well at least he is working even though he may not make much and you never learned of his outside children until his death, which morphed into at least he is trying to get a job and is planing to start a business and at least he comes home at night, which morphed into at least he will shack with you (giving you wifey status) so you at least have man, which morphed into at least you get your child support check first out of all his babymama's and he gets the kids on the weekend so at least he is spending time with them...

Until now anything is acceptable and the bar is so low, there are no clear standards/models of what good/healthy acceptable is, and everyone around many BW is involved in and supporting/pushing something that is not good/healthy/acceptable - then yes there is mass confusion.

That can be hard to buck against alone because when 9 out of every 10 people (especially ones you respect or regard as having authority) tell you one thing and you are the only one who doesn't agree - it can be crazymaking or make you feel like the crazy one and since no one wants to go there- people listen.


I think that many BW may be invested in staying confused for a number of reasons as well. I think some people need to be right. They want to be the exception- they want to be the ones who make it work out no matter what.

It could also be fear and pain. Fear of the unknown, fear of leaving the devil you do know and and maybe finding out the one you don't know is worse.

Pain of realizing that the joke is on you. That you bought into a sham and that you have wasted so much of your time, energy, resources, life - and all that it has cost you.

So some BW maybe put their heads down and just trudge on and try to force it to work.





Re natural hair


I am sorry that you guys have had those experiences. It seems to me that it is kinda like what happens with BP whenever they convert to something - they take it to extremes.

I have to take my zealot repellent with me everytime I go to the health food store to zap the assorted nutcases: born again vegans, rastafari's, Amen Ra's, and whomever else starts stalking me down the aisles and trying to say something nasty/insane/disturbing or that I just don't want to hear.




Re Davon Crawford

I saw that and I am officially scared of BM. I am wary of most men period, but I have had experiences with BM where they can be quick to verbally assault when they don't know you well.

His family members said that he failed a pre employment drug screening, but didn't seem to upset about it - and then this guy just snaps and does that. The thing that kills me is that he murdered the babies first.





Re: decorum


Ok I am laughing at these posts. You have got to be kidding me.

"The loud one leaned down or rather flopped the top half of her body down on the salescounter all over the counter as if she didn't have a backbone and her sweatshirt pulled all the way up halfway her back!! Not only did I see the bare skin halfway up her back, but I also saw the very top of the crack of her butt!!! Now just suppose a man had been standing there?!!!"


I refuse to believe this. :)
I would have laughed my butt off had I saw that.

I can see you have to be prayed up when you go into fabric stores now a days.




@ Anon

Thanks for those tips on how women can save money. That is awesome. When I was in Cali, I would go to beauty schools to get skin treatments because the where I lived the prices were insane.

But I do think that for well endowed women investing in a good bra is paramount.

When I was younger I could destroy a cheap bra in less than 4 months. The band would shred and the underwire would come out either under the armpit or in the middle. The straps can dig and make imprints in your shoulders or make them numb.

And sizing is an issue. I went through a time where I couldn't find a bra in my size in a regular store bc the cups were too small and minimizers are the spawn of satan and when I went to plus sized stores the band was too large.

Actually it was a local boutique owner who was fitting me for my prom dress who read me down about my bra and then she read my mom down.


That was my only custom bra. I hated it because it was so plain & grandma-ish and I had to bend over at the waist to put it on and it had cups that unhooked in the front. The fitting was so humiliating - this woman actually touched me - I wish she gave me notice beforehand. I threw it in the back of my underwear drawer.

At any rate there are some nicer bras out there that can give you support are not so grandma-ish thank goodness.

One option could be to get fitted in a store and note the brands and sizes that fit you well and get on the internet and comparison shop- which is what I have done. I can buy several bras and yes it may come out to 200+, but if I don't gain or lose weight I can have a nice bra that will last for almost 2 years or so.





@ Jallimaster and PVW

I agree with your comments regarding the strong stereotype.





RE dating equivalents


I think I have been on the flip side of this. I was trained to be 'nice'. So in doing that I never had a type.

[If anything a man that is too good looking bothers me and a guy that is too metrosexual turns me off. So the Gerards & Brads are fun to look at, but I wouldn't even dream of demanding that I date or marry one. They are genetic freaks to me - not that common - thus they are famous because they are not that common - everyone else I think is just average. ]


But in my being nice I called myself having an open mind with men so I never discriminated regarding physical ability, height, or weight.

I have been with men who the tops of their heads barely reached my sternum, some qualified as midgets/little people, I have been with men in wheelchairs, I have been with the elderly - the oldest was in his 70's, (God I am so glad that this forum has some anonimity bc I am so embarrassed right now) ,some had questionable physical features as evidenced by my mother's, friends', classmates' and coworker's snide snickers of 'ugg mugg' - there was one one guy that they nicknamed 'the waterhead guy'- and well I knew his head was big, I mean it really was big, but I was thinking well maybe he is a nice person, there was another guy that I was absolutely hot for while working on a film that my friends dubbed 'the alien', and there were a few guys that ranged from stocky to morbidly obese. I have been with a few pretty men, but as you can see my experience runs the gamut.


My basis for these choices were that I was thinking I am going to give a person a chance and if I am nice to you everything will be gumdrops and lilly pads and rainbows over the ocean and if we really love each other, your lazy eye doesn't matter bc love conquers all.

Wow that was a mistake.




Re: Mannerisms


I can't believe that people act that way. It takes so much energy to neck roll, eye roll etc.

I can remember when I was growing up I would get popped hard if I did those sorts of things i.e. hands on hips, hissing...


"And it's usually VERY difficult to get them to temporarily stop doing these things. They feel somehow "entitled" to act like this. Also, many of them take the idiotic posture of "I've got to be myself." Even after I warn them that their natural behaviors are NOT appealing to most jurors.



I don't see how they can't see that they are filling a stereotype of blackkness. That is not natural or who they are - that is learned and imitated.

JaliliMaster said...

Sorry about the double post.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Aphrodite!

Thank you for answering my question about how it came to be that so many BW are confused AND invested in staying confused about: (1) what "marrying well" means, and (2) what is required in order to marry well.

You said, "I think #1 has a number of factors and number 2 feeds into 1. I feel that whenever the black family started disintegrating and there was a ton messages being thrown about-about the attacks on BM, BW were encouraged to lower what was acceptable in order to keep the race/family together."

Now that you've laid this out, I see how this confusion started up.

You said, "I think it is kind of like the story of the frog being in the pot of boiling water. At first it is cool, then it gradually gets warmer (and you don't notice) until its boiling and you're dinner."

Yep. And plenty of BW and children are being boiled TO DEATH because of this confusion.

You said, "It may have started with well at least he pays the bills, which morphed into well at least he is working even though he may not make much and you never learned of his outside children until his death, which morphed into at least he is trying to get a job and is planing to start a business and at least he comes home at night, which morphed into at least he will shack with you (giving you wifey status) so you at least have man, which morphed into at least you get your child support check first out of all his babymama's and he gets the kids on the weekend so at least he is spending time with them...

Until now anything is acceptable and the bar is so low, there are no clear standards/models of what good/healthy acceptable is, and everyone around many BW is involved in and supporting/pushing something that is not good/healthy/acceptable - then yes there is mass confusion."


Yep. I can see the progression to current circumstances, now that you've laid it all out. Lord have mercy.
___________________

Hello there, JaliliMaster!

No problem. I deleted the double post.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

@DeStouet re:

Evia, I read your site for the knowledge. You give great tips (like you do on this blog) on things black women should look for when their vetting men. Things AA women should not accept from any man, woman or other earthling, and a whole list of other valuable tools and tips that are useful to me.

Well, thank you! Lots of times, I read some of the material at the sites of others that I don't agree with, but the things I can use, I take those things and trash the rest. However, it appears that people view my writing differently. They want me to shut up entirely. LOL! They don't seem to be able to take what they can use and trash the rest and if they can't use any of it, then they need to click on by and not read it at all. The quality of my life doesn't hinge on strange people agreeing with me.


@ Khadija re:

What I want to see is increasing numbers of us thriving

This is my goal TOO.

THIS is what the "acting Black" crew fears most of all. They know that non-Blacks aren't giving two thoughts about them. They know that they only exist to the extent that sane Black folks support and pay attention to them. Sane Black folks are the ONLY ones protesting on behalf of social programs, etc. to benefit the "acting Black" crew. ALL of their sustenance is the fruit of sane Black folks' misguided efforts.

For sure! Although SOME other folks make all the right noises about being concerned about the plight of the "black poor," it's only lip service. To be brutal, as you're saying, the ONLY thing that the underclass poor has that keeps them from being rounded up, penned up, sterilized, used for their organs and medical research, etc. is middle class SANE blacks and the whites who still believe in the Constitution. I have to focus on the word "sane" when referring to black middle class folks because the poison of the underclass blacks has,for ex., seeped into many Jack and Jill children. These clueless Jack and Jill parents (in some cases--deliberately clueless) should/could have known better but were complicit in allowing the diseased culture of underclass blacks to take the place of mainstream black culture, so they have lost their children to that culture. Whereas it was all we had and served us for a period, AA culture really was not the healthiest, progressive culture from the getgo, but instead of trying to fix it up to adapt to modern times and be effective, some middle class black folks obviously weren't eager to hang onto it.

There are some pretty sad Jack and Jill mamas out there now. They can't stop their daughters from dressing in designer-hoochie gear and some of the boys walk around with long tee-shirt dresses and diamond earrings. In their defense, I have to say that this morphing of what was formerly known as black culture into "acting black/ghetto/gangsta" culture has happened so FAST. But, these are the bulk of the black children--due to their advantages--who should have aimed for those slots in ivy league universities, but these children are NOT generally doing well in school just like their underclass black counterparts aren't and are just not motivated to do much of anything aside from shop, play video games, dress up and have fun. A bunch of of the daughters and sons of Jack and Jill women I know have become babymamas and thugs or are on the way. They refuse to do well in high school, or go to college or they go for a while and then drop out and live at home.

Re the re-branding, I think we need a brand that has a philosophy that RE-POSITIONS us. If we don't re-position ourselves, it won't matter that we've personally set ourselves apart. No one will know it anyway.

The brand also must be one that separates us from the experience of "slavery" because that keeps AAs always in a funk mindset and swimming in the sea of helplessness. Our ancestors were ****captured people.*** Not all of them became "slaves." And it's so true that "It's not important what people call you; it's what you answer to that counts." As a matter of fact, I think a LOT of AAs have actually only become "slaves" in the last 50 years. Prior to that, according to the historical record, vast numbers of AAs had not succumbed. We should draw on the strength of the ones who never succumbed instead of focusing on the ones who did. We must alway give great honor and respect to our ancestors, but we need to get out of our psyches that we are the descendants of "slaves." Captured people? Yes! Slaves? NO!

I know this is scary to some, but as we realize, ALL AAs are going to be in dire trouble when other large non-white groups rise to power in the country. As we are presently positioned, it won't matter much that some of us AAs are sane because it'll be a situation of being given the label of "worthlessness by bloodline." These other groups won't need us anyway, and won't take the time to figure how who's sane and who's not. As you said, they won't be hiring AAs unless it's for low level positions. And they won't be throwing us any other large crumbs either.

Whereas, many whites respect and will fight to uphold the Constitution that their forefathers wrote, I don't believe these other groups will respect the Constitution in that manner at all. It's a foreign document to them, afterall. Without adhering to the Constitution, this country can be just as oppressive as any other country.

Even many whites have a problem adhering to the Constitution when it goes against their interests, as history has shown. I believe that the Constitution will either be altered by these other groups or maybe it will be used or re-interpreted in order to do whatever they need to do to AAs.

Does anyone really believe that Hispanic and Asians are going to allow large numbers of AAs to be running socially amuck in this society or give them handouts just to keep them alive. Look at what goes on in these Hispanic and Asian countries; they don't even do that for their OWN folks. Other black groups won't do that either. Just look at how they treat their own people. My Nigerian ex-husband and his friends used to talk about how American prisons are like country clubs. They said that Nigerian prisons are like places we don't even want to imagine.

But as usual, while time is running out, many AAs pretend they have a halo over their heads. LOL! They magically think they have endless time and feel that they can do what they want to do or only what they like to do. Many AAs do not believe that ethnic cleansing (even though it's happening already) can occur here even though ethnic cleansing is not a stranger to most parts of the world.

For like-minded AA women, setting ourselves apart and re-positioning ourselves in this country are really crucial and we'd better put a lot of thought into that because AAs who plan to survive and thrive really don't have much time.

Once you start thinking like that and believing that, then "becoming flawless" and setting up other income streams is not hard to do at all because you realize it may be the ONLY chance you and your children may have to escape. Anyone who thinks otherwise either already has their escape hatch oiled or doesn't believe that time is almost up or they've DECIDED (though they may not admit it) that they'll just sink.

DeStouet said...

@ Aphrodite,

"Pain of realizing that the joke is on you. That you bought into a sham and that you have wasted so much of your time, energy, resources, life - and all that it has cost you."

Which is one of the REAL reasons that AA women need to get out more because divorce is so common. People change spouses like they change their undies. When one no longer fits their needs they simply get a divorce and go to the next.

In the year and a half that I've lived on the west coast, I've met over two dozen women who are now on their second and third marriage. No shame. No guilt. Just a new pair of sunglasses, and a brand new handbag.

As a matter of fact, I've read several articles that focused on the fact that most divorced women are now opting to stay single. The women in these articles were talking about how they felt born again, how they felt set free and something in them had been unleashed.

Khadija said...

Evia,

What BW need to understand RIGHT NOW is that the past is prologue! What has happened before will happen again. Just under the new management of Latinos and Asian political overlords.

You said, "To be brutal, as you're saying, the ONLY thing that the underclass poor has that keeps them from being rounded up, penned up, sterilized, used for their organs and medical research, etc. is middle class SANE blacks and the whites who still believe in the Constitution."

ALL of these things have happened before. And much more recently than many of us realize. I've read of these things being done to various "undesirables" (Blacks, the mentally retarded, the hearing impaired, etc.) during the 1930s. The medical field of gynecology is mostly the result of agonizing experimentation done on captive BW during slavery in the US.

Actually, it's happening right now on various expendable populations. It's just that most of us are unaware of it. I'll mention something that I know based on personal knowledge.

It came to my attention a couple of years ago that some of the local hospitals were using some HIV+ children who are wards of the court system as guinea pigs for experimental AIDS medications. Guess what ethnicity these kids are?


Anywaaay, Whites did all of this the first time around. All of these practices are coming back under new management under Latinos and Asians. And like you said, "These other groups won't need us anyway, and won't take the time to figure how who's sane and who's not. As you said, they won't be hiring AAs unless it's for low level positions. And they won't be throwing us any other large crumbs either."

Correct. These people don't and won't care if we all die. They are not part of our historical narrative in this country. They don't and won't respond to White guilt trips. They have their OWN sob stories.

You said, "Re the re-branding, I think we need a brand that has a philosophy that RE-POSITIONS us. If we don't re-position ourselves, it won't matter that we've personally set ourselves apart. No one will know it anyway.

The brand also must be one that separates us from the experience of "slavery" because that keeps AAs always in a funk mindset and swimming in the sea of helplessness."


You sound as if you're reading my mind. LOL! I've been thinking about how we need a brand that is diametrically opposed to the learned helplessness that modern AA culture embraces!

You said, "For like-minded AA women, setting ourselves apart and re-positioning ourselves in this country are really crucial and we'd better put a lot of thought into that because AAs who plan to survive and thrive really don't have much time.

Once you start thinking like that and believing that, then "becoming flawless" and setting up other income streams is not hard to do at all because you realize it may be the ONLY chance you and your children may have to escape.
Anyone who thinks otherwise either already has their escape hatch oiled or doesn't believe that time is almost up or they've DECIDED (though they may not admit it) that they'll just sink."
[emphasis added]

This is true. Time is very short. I've decided that I'm not going to invest much more time debating with people who've decided to "curl up and die." That's their business. I'm focused on those people who WANT to survive and thrive. And who are willing to do what it takes.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

Hello there, Aphrodite!

Thank you for answering my question about how it came to be that so many BW are confused AND invested in staying confused about: (1) what "marrying well" means, and (2) what is required in order to marry well.

You said, "I think #1 has a number of factors and number 2 feeds into 1. I feel that whenever the black family started disintegrating and there was a ton messages being thrown about-about the attacks on BM, BW were encouraged to lower what was acceptable in order to keep the race/family together."

Now that you've laid this out, I see how this confusion started up.

My reply:

And, combined with the notion developing around that time (especially among black nationalist type African American historians in response to the Moynihan report) that black women have historically been "strong," the foundations were laid for what is going on today.

The Moynihan report argued that the "strong black woman" stereotype was pathological, but some black folks were trying to take a perverse pride in a "strength" which only harmed black women.

Thus, I mentioned, being strong came to be seen as noble among black women, and especially as a means of distinguishing themselves from those "weak" white women who needed their feminism.

[So much for "weak" white women and their feminism; it has gotten them lots of gains and protections where they had not had them before.]

"Strong" black women don't suffer like black men do, because they apparently did not experience racial discrimination like black men did, or the more pernicious, they actually benefitted from black men's discrimination.

Nonetheless, the reality is that black women have experienced both race-based and sex-based discrimination.

But that would have been sacrilegeous/heresy to utter back then, because that apparently would have undermined the community and its interests in nation-building (as defined by black men's needs and interests exclusively, but black women of course, had no clue back then). Moreover, it would have made black women sound like those "weak" white women.

Don't forget too, the notion you once spoke of that all criminals came to be seen as "political prisoners" victimized by the system, and the eventual glamorizing of struggle as emblematic of "black love" in literature, television and movies.

It was mentioned earlier, discussions of friends who spoke with pride about their mothers' struggles as single parents, and the woman who broke down at work, with the white colleague responding that she thought the woman was too "strong" to break down.

Thinking back, what else was going on in Good Times, Sanford and Son, Terry MacMillan, but glamorization of certain perspectives and life experiences as legitimate representations of black life--black struggle as authenticity. Essence magazine was a chief culprit!

Just some other thoughts to ponder...

Khadija said...

Hello there, Pioneer Valley Woman!

You mentioned, "[So much for "weak" white women and their feminism; it has gotten them lots of gains and protections where they had not had them before.]"

Yes. These WW were clever enough to get the best of ALL worlds. With feminism, WW got their legally-enforceable rights, gains, protections AND they continued to enjoy legitimate marriages with White, Black, Latino, and Asian men who are willing to provide for them.

Meanwhile, BW fell for the okey-doke and have ended up with less than nothing. It's quite obvious "who was zooming who" in these various scenarios!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Foxycleopatra said...

''My Nigerian ex-husband and his friends used to talk about how American prisons are like country clubs. They said that Nigerian prisons are like places we don't even want to imagine.''




This is sooo true. The prisons in many western countries are very different from those in many non-western countries. If you think the ones in America are a joke, you need to see some of the ones in Britain. You would think you were in a hotel. I think European countries like Spain and Italy are a few exceptions. AS for how Latinos and Asians will be when they 'get to the top', hmmm well you need to see the prison systems in their original countries of origins. THOSE ARE REAL PRISONS! I wouldn't even talk about the hell-holes that are Nigerian prisons! My issue here is though is that instead of worrying about how it will be when other non-black minorities reach to the top, shouldn't we blacks be trying to be the minorities at the top instead?
________________________________


'' Khadija said...
Evia,

What BW need to understand RIGHT NOW is that the past is prologue! What has happened before will happen again. Just under the new management of Latinos and Asian political overlords.

You said, "To be brutal, as you're saying, the ONLY thing that the underclass poor has that keeps them from being rounded up, penned up, sterilized, used for their organs and medical research, etc. is middle class SANE blacks and the whites who still believe in the Constitution."

ALL of these things have happened before. And much more recently than many of us realize. I've read of these things being done to various "undesirables" (Blacks, the mentally retarded, the hearing impaired, etc.) during the 1930s. The medical field of gynecology is mostly the result of agonizing experimentation done on captive BW during slavery in the US.

Actually, it's happening right now on various expendable populations. It's just that most of us are unaware of it. I'll mention something that I know based on personal knowledge.

It came to my attention a couple of years ago that some of the local hospitals were using some HIV+ children who are wards of the court system as guinea pigs for experimental AIDS medications. Guess what ethnicity these kids are? ''





Yeah this happened a lot. First of all it was the sterilization of 'the unwanteds''. These where young white females with mental problems and hordes of black women.

Then there were the 'black men and syphillis testing' and then finally it was BLACK CHILDREN who were used as guinea pigs for hiv testing!

AA's thinking that it wouldn't be possible for such things to happen again would be a very big mistake. Civil liberties are being eroded and excuses for such could soon become acceptable once again in society. The 'constitution' will not save you!
_____________________________

Evia said...

But that would have been sacrilegeous/heresy to utter back then, because that apparently would have undermined the community and its interests in nation-building (as defined by black men's needs and interests exclusively, but black women of course, had no clue back then). Moreover, it would have made black women sound like those "weak" white women.

Thanks so much PVW for the historical lens to view this situation of AA women through. Otherwise, it would seem that we are just retarded. LOL! We have been manipulated, emotionally mauled, manhandled, bamboozled, indoctrinated, and controlled. No one else listens to bm or gives a rat's behind about them. And they know this, so it's vital to them to keep hooks into AA women. So what you've described are the emotional and political hooks used to keep AA women loyal to AA men and attached to them. They're still using various hooks. Black women should be extremely wary of these various hooks.

We have to always keep in mind that many bm view bw as their property of sorts, the only thing they've ever been able to control. They will therefore fight to the end and do whatever they need to do to hang onto us--even though many of them regard AA women with disdain.

Yes. These WW were clever enough to get the best of ALL worlds. With feminism, WW got their legally-enforceable rights, gains, protections AND they continued to enjoy legitimate marriages with White, Black, Latino, and Asian men who are willing to provide for them.

Meanwhile, BW fell for the okey-doke and have ended up with less than nothing. It's quite obvious "who was zooming who" in these various scenarios!


I think that THE critical difference between what ww have "accomplished" in this regard and what bw have not been able to accomplish is not due to ww's shrewdness or savvy, but because the bulk of wm are vested in ww. They won't beat their women down because they know that their line is not going to continue or will be at risk if their women are beaten down. I think this is often overlooked.

However, for the same reason, most men of the world don't want their women worn down physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. because without their women, there is NO future for their group.

The reality is that the bulk of AA males are different. It is highly debateable whether the bulk of AA men care about the future of AAs. By their actions, they show they mostly don't. The men--who are the leaders--in most other groups want their group to continue in its present configuration, thus they are their women's strongest allies and supporters.

AA women are in a precarious position, unlike these other women. This is why it's SO important for AA women to marry strategically and marry well. To marry simply for love is not a luxury that most AA women can afford.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Foxycleopatra!

You said, "My issue here is though is that instead of worrying about how it will be when other non-black minorities reach to the top, shouldn't we blacks be trying to be the minorities at the top instead?"

As I see it, the problem with this is that in a patriarchal world GROUP competition/dominance requires the participation of an ethnic group's MEN. For all practical purposes, there are NO AA men; much less AA men fit, willing and able to compete with other men.

There are plenty of AA male scavengers, but very few men. As Rev. Lisa points out in her current post (at the blog Black Women, Blow The Trumpet!), AA men totally divested themselves OUT OF the Black family and the Black community decades ago.

As a result, the handful of AA men who are competitive are competing for resources on behalf of themselves ALONE and/or non-Black wives.
_________________

Hello there, Evia!

You said, "We have been manipulated, emotionally mauled, manhandled, bamboozled, indoctrinated, and controlled. No one else listens to bm or gives a rat's behind about them. And they know this, so it's vital to them to keep hooks into AA women....Black women should be extremely wary of these various hooks.

...We have to always keep in mind that many bm view bw as their property of sorts, the only thing they've ever been able to control. They will therefore fight to the end and do whatever they need to do to hang onto us--even though many of them regard AA women with disdain."


This is an extremely important point for us to keep in mind. We can already see the rising hysterical rage as more of us break free of these mental snares.

You said, "I think that THE critical difference between what ww have "accomplished" in this regard and what bw have not been able to accomplish is not due to ww's shrewdness or savvy, but because the bulk of wm are vested in ww. . .I think this is often overlooked."

You're right. Feminism only "works" because WM more or less allow it to work. And they do so because they are invested in the fate of WW.

I DID overlook this fact. I've gotten so used to thinking in terms of the AA construct (i.e., NO BM investment in BW whatsoever), that I sometimes forget that OTHER collectives don't operate like the AA masses.

I've got to purge my mind of this "prison yard" type of thinking! Thank you for pointing out this omission on my part!


You said, "AA women are in a precarious position, unlike these other women. This is why it's SO important for AA women to marry strategically and marry well. To marry simply for love is not a luxury that most AA women can afford."

True. The harsh bottom line is that in a patriarchal world, women and children who don't have adult male protectors and providers usually DON'T make it at all. They certainly DON'T thrive. The world has not "come a long way, baby." Only the top surface of interactions have changed. The substance of how human groups either thrive OR perish remains the same over the millenia.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JaliliMaster said...

"The brand also must be one that separates us from the experience of "slavery" because that keeps AAs always in a funk mindset and swimming in the sea of helplessness. Our ancestors were ****captured people.*** Not all of them became "slaves." And it's so true that "It's not important what people call you; it's what you answer to that counts." As a matter of fact, I think a LOT of AAs have actually only become "slaves" in the last 50 years. Prior to that, according to the historical record, vast numbers of AAs had not succumbed. We should draw on the strength of the ones who never succumbed instead of focusing on the ones who did. We must alway give great honor and respect to our ancestors, but we need to get out of our psyches that we are the descendants of "slaves." Captured people? Yes! Slaves? NO!"

That's why I REFUSE to refer to them as slaves. They were 'enslaved'. I refuse to see any shame in their suffering or try and pretend that it didn't happen. I will rejoice neither in the fact that they had to do this unpaid, unrewarding work, or even in the work that they did, under such oppression, but, I rejoice in the fact that they overcame, and hence, we did as well. They were not slaves. They were enslaved.

And I think this is part of where this whole notion that we should 'embrace' suffering(while no one else is expected to), is, in part, due to slavery. As if to say, if they had to do it, we shouldn't complain, aferall, what we experience is nothing compred to what they did. I once heard an older Black woman tell a younger one to stop complaining about hardship and embrace other peoples burdens as our foremothers had to!!!
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"Does anyone really believe that Hispanic and Asians are going to allow large numbers of AAs to be running socially amuck in this society or give them handouts just to keep them alive. Look at what goes on in these Hispanic and Asian countries; they don't even do that for their OWN folks. Other black groups won't do that either. Just look at how they treat their own people. My Nigerian ex-husband and his friends used to talk about how American prisons are like country clubs. They said that Nigerian prisons are like places we don't even want to imagine."

The prisons in the UK are even more pathetic. Alot of them have satellite t.v, playstation etc. A young offender actually tried to sue the government for not giving him PS3 in prison(they had PlayStation2). It's almost like cribs, except that they are behind bars. And some of these so-called 'prison reform' folks are thinking of making it easier. It's as if some people don't get that prison isn't only for rehabilitation, it's also for punishment. The punishment includes more than just taking someone's freedom away.

Lol about Nigerian prisons. You can find about 20 people in one cell. You will all eat and 'go to toilet' in the same place. After that kind of experience, ain't no one getting 'institutionalised'.

JaliliMaster said...

"We have to always keep in mind that many bm view bw as their property of sorts, the only thing they've ever been able to control. They will therefore fight to the end and do whatever they need to do to hang onto us--even though many of them regard AA women with disdain."

I couldn't have said it better myself.
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"I think that THE critical difference between what ww have "accomplished" in this regard and what bw have not been able to accomplish is not due to ww's shrewdness or savvy, but because the bulk of wm are vested in ww. They won't beat their women down because they know that their line is not going to continue or will be at risk if their women are beaten down. I think this is often overlooked.

However, for the same reason, most men of the world don't want their women worn down physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. because without their women, there is NO future for their group.

The reality is that the bulk of AA males are different. It is highly debateable whether the bulk of AA men care about the future of AAs. By their actions, they show they mostly don't. The men--who are the leaders--in most other groups want their group to continue in its present configuration, thus they are their women's strongest allies and supporters."



WW wouldn't 'achieve' anything if White men weren't willing to allow it to happen. Let's just get that straight. They have all these protections in society NOT because they are more valuable, they are most definitely not. It is because 'their' men still act as protectors. Many people think it's all about racism, but it really isn't only about that. If Black men showed to the rest of the world that they held Black women and Black children in high regard, there are many things that happen that wouldn't. Anytime a white person says something racist or otherwise offensive about Black women, what is their first line of excuse? It's always that this black rapper/actor/celebrity/other-black-male-public-persona said it, so why can't I? Notice they never use these kind of excuses or reasoning when trying to explain/excuse a racist joke they made to Asian or Latino women!

And let's be honest, as bad as the situation already is, we know things would be MUCH worse for Black women if it was the Black community(or more accurately, bm) that made up the laws concerning issues such as sexual violence, domestic vioulence, etc. One can always meet a wm who would try to excuse it, but there would always be HORDES of other wm who are ready to shout him down IF it is attacks against ww he is talking about. When bm excuse such behaviour, there is, more often than not, silence from other bm, even the so called 'good' ones. So really, how good are they? There was even a story in the news of how a certain black man(if I can remember well, he was gay), got beaten into a coma by a group of other black men because he was trying to defend the honour of another black woman that was being harassed by these men in public. I remember thinking that he may have been more likely to help this woman being a gay man himself, and his sexuality would have allowed these other men to see him as 'not like them'. I'm not even sure if the man survived.

I've heard several bm say that the reason they don't speak up is because they too can be at risk of vioelnce from their fellow bm. Funny that, they don't seem to have a problem speaking up when it is a bm on the receiving end, whether it's from the police or anothe bm!

Anonymous said...

Khadijah

I joined google and use to post under sistrunkqueen and now I have to post under Anon. I don't know what happened but I am responding now. In the last few years it is very hard for me a dark skinned black woman to find makeup to match my skin tone so I have to be creative and resourceful. I remeber calling Revlon because they discontinued my foundation that I really loved. The customer service rep told me that my color which was deep bronze was being discontinued because it did not sell as many units as deep beige. Yes she said it Revlon discontinued a product based on lack of sales. Also other cosmetic companies are doing the same Prescriptives, Estee Lauder etc. If it weren't for Clinique I would not have a foundation color to wear now and the last time I tried to buy it It was sold out twice. Ok so what do you think all of this means for the black woman consumer? It is inconvenience. Ok the other area that I am concerned about is the lack of services in the black community that I work in. The Wachovia branch has closed, Blockbuster closed,Chevrolet dealership closed, several descent restaurants are closed and now BofA took out there ATM from our place of work(innercity comm.college). I am afraid that the powers that be are telling us that we are not important and that we need to get a clue. I also notice more whites, latinos, and others taking classes at the college. I worlk in a low income neighborhood with mostly black female staff. It is interesting to see the demographics of Atlanta change.

Has anyone else notice stores and services or products disappearing in your communities too?

Khadija said...

Hello there, JaliliMaster!

You said, "And let's be honest, as bad as the situation already is, we know things would be MUCH worse for Black women if it was the Black community(or more accurately, bm) that made up the laws concerning issues such as sexual violence, domestic vioulence, etc."

The harsh reality is that if it was left up to the "community standards" of the Black masses in the US (and from what I'm reading, the UK), BW would be living like the women in the Congo and Afghanistan.

And wouldn't be due to BM only. Let's not forget the hordes of rabid BF supporters of Chris Brown and R.Kelly.

I've been reading articles from some fundamentalist Muslim sites this weekend. I pray that I NEVER come under the authority of any Muslim man. I pray that I NEVER come under the authority of any Islamic laws. I pray that NO Muslim group, congregation, organization, charity, etc. EVER has any direct or indirect control over anything that I care about.

And I repeat the above prayers, substituting "Black Christian" for "Muslim"!

I praise God Almighty for the MANY accidental blessings of secular laws.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Anonymous!

You said, "...Ok so what do you think all of this means for the black woman consumer? It is inconvenience. Ok the other area that I am concerned about is the lack of services in the black community that I work in. The Wachovia branch has closed, Blockbuster closed,Chevrolet dealership closed, several descent restaurants are closed and now BofA took out there ATM from our place of work(innercity comm.college). I am afraid that the powers that be are telling us that we are not important and that we need to get a clue."

The powers that be aren't just giving us the signal that we're unimportant. They're letting us know that we will soon be extinct. Sensible people and institutions don't invest money into DEAD and DYING things. There comes a point when they "pull the plug." This is what you're describing.

The wise among us will take heed, and respond accordingly.


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to recommend these books written by ww.
Women and Children Last: the plight of poor women in America
and Keeping Women and Children Last both by Ruth Sidel

the other is The Hite Report by Shere Hite.
These two ww were before there times in criticizing and exposing white male patriarchy in economics to sex in the bedroom. Shere Hite was run out of America with her reports on American wives faking orgasms. She is now in London she renounced her American citizenship. The other is Ruth SIDEL A Jewish woman wo wrote about poor women and kids in the US and how poverty has changed the landscape of American citizens.

Some one mentioned wm not throwing their women under the bus. Well some have and are getting into IR relationships/marriages like it is going out of style. Many middle aged wm are remarrying with Asian women. Some of these men had bitter divorces and are looking for something new and different. I notice when americans can't get what they want or need in americans they go international. That includes blackmen who go to Rio for sex. Black women have a tour everyyear in Italy. The international angle is always in the background. Shere Hite married a German because she said American men did not like women. European men loved women especially older ones. The men were livid. How dare this ww criticize us wm (Leaders of the World). You get what I am saying?
I see it also with wm and hw too. When I went to Mexico last fall I saw alot of middle aged wm macking up the mexican women. The women were very responsive to them too. Some of these men owned businesses in the US but prefer the lifestyle overseas. Sisters there is a whole world out there and we are missing out because we don't get invited to the party.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

The powers that be aren't just giving us the signal that we're unimportant. They're letting us know that we will soon be extinct. Sensible people and institutions don't invest money into DEAD and DYING things. There comes a point when they "pull the plug." This is what you're describing.

The wise among us will take heed, and respond accordingly.

My reply:

This happened especially in the late 1960s and 1970s when folks in inner city communities began rioting and burning up their own communities.

Whites began fleeing the cities for the suburbs--a greater black presence in the cities became associated in their minds with disorder: rising crime, etc.

The business owners left and the communities had only substandard services.

Those blacks who could leave did so, especially the middle class ones. So who remained? Those who could not afford to leave, especially older folks on fixed incomes, who were not going to be around forever.

But then urban renewal followed once things got to rock bottom. This meant gentrification in anticipation of more whites coming into the community.

The services began coming back, but the targeted audience was different. It got very expensive to live in those places, especially once landlords were able to increase rents to the level of the new market and once developers bought up and redeveloped properties but were not offering them at prices affordable to the locals.

This has happened in large cities across the country, New York in particular.

The movie Flag Wars spoke of this issue, the problem of changing communities, gentrification, and the use of law to push out local blacks, the ones who were in these communities for years, before white flight, or who moved in after white flight, but who began to see that they were under attack once whites wanted to move in.

So like Khadija said, it sounds like whites are anticipating and perhaps even precipitating the end of the local black community, and perhaps imagine the renewal of the neighborhood in another decade or so.

They don't want to have anything to do with the local blacks: offer no services to them, and bring in whites from elsewhere to use the remaining institutions, ie., a college.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Another point:

Khadija:

I DID overlook this fact. I've gotten so used to thinking in terms of the AA construct (i.e., NO BM investment in BW whatsoever), that I sometimes forget that OTHER collectives don't operate like the AA masses.

I've got to purge my mind of this "prison yard" type of thinking! Thank you for pointing out this omission on my part!

My reply:

I saw this several times during the course of my teaching undergraduates, where in a mixed group of students, white, black, Asian, Latin, and of both genders, there were young black men who were quite clear that any discussion of sexism had nothing to do with them, ie. why should men care about it, since they are not women.

I could see the shock on the faces of some of the young white men upon hearing those sorts of statements. They had been raised by their mothers, that sexism is their problem, because their mothers, sisters, future wives and daughters will be affected.

This message was reinforced by their sisters and girlfriends who were not afraid to engage in discussions with them about what they need and what they believe their interests to be.

They were not "hopelessly male identified," as Joan Morgan put it, meaning that they did not see the world through the perspectives of men (as many black women might tend to do, talk about the community's problems only in light of black men's interests), but through their perspectives and experiences as women.

Now I'm not presuming that there were no sexist young white men, but they knew that in a room full of their sisters, they were to mind their manners, and they knew fully well that the most vocal ones would "tear them another" if they even dared going there....

Khadija said...

*Since we've reached almost 100 comments, and I DON'T like having to scroll down miles of computer screen to read new comments, I'm now transferring the ongoing conversation for this post to the new "Comment Overflow" post for this topic.

Please post your comments for this essay in the comment section of the current "Comment Overflow" post for this topic. Thank you.*