Friday, May 1, 2009

The Way Of The Sojourner

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

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

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

56 comments:

Evia said...

Khadija, this essay was a scorcher! I hope you've copyrighted it and plan to sell it. Thank you SO MUCH for highlighting my lil bit of wisdom and for being a woman of integrity--giving me credit for perspectives and ideas I've originated/enhanced. This is intellectual property. I notice how some bloggers have just helped themselves to some of what I write and other tidbits of my online persona--without giving me credit. SMH!

I LOVE the name you've chosen: SOJOURNER(S). VERY meaningful and spirit-nurturing. I can drink from her spiritual well and others like hers--FOREVER. My grandmother had a similar spirit. Sojourner Truth was OUR African American ***mighty*** female ancestor--a Great woman. But all right-thinking people should be able to applaud the greatness of her spirit and and her accomplishments. As she is said to have quipped when she left the plantation, "I didn't run; I WALKED." LOL!!!!!

She BELIEVED that her freedom came from her CREATOR to go where she chose--to find what was best for her and pointed to this path for others like her. No human being could contain her--not her spirit. If your spirit is free, no mere human can ever hold you. MY sentiments EXACTLY.

And her "Ain't I a Woman?" question needs to make a lot of AA women just STOP--cease and desist THIS DAY from doing all of this heavy lifting and getting kicked in the butt for it more and more. I've always made it clear to all of those around me that I'm NOT doing ANY heavy lifting because "ain't I a woman?"

And THANK YOU so much, Khadija for using your beautifully concise writing ability to spread this Common Sense philosophy, for clanging this bell. It makes me feel so less alone.

roslynholcomb said...

Khadijah, this might be one of your best essays yet. I've felt like a voice screaming in the wilderness for so long, it's really good to encounter others who are like-minded and so much better at expressing these views than I am.

[i]It's NOT that African-American women are oh-so pro-Black, they simply feel that they have no other places to go! It's not that African-American women just loooove Black men that much; they simply feel that they have no other options.[/I]

This is something that I've been saying for a long time. Black women don't love black men, in fact, most black women feel nothing but disdain for black men. This is especially true for the most evangelical 'nothing but a black man crew.' They think black men are crippled and inadequate. Why else would they be so convinced that they need women to prop them up and take care of them? On another board someone claimed that black women did believe in black men. Why else would we be constantly begging them to take leadership roles. Interestingly enough, when I asked the simple question as to why a LEADER would need women to BEG them to LEAD, there was no response. A man as a leader is a natural state. He sees what needs doing, and he does it. Anyone who has ever spent time with men can see this for themselves. They're not leaders, at least, they're not leaders of anything that would be of any benefit or relevance to us and our children.

But to say so, to actually admit that they feel this way is anathema. Think about it. If they admit that they don't love black men, and acknowledge that black men don't love us, just what do they have left? They're convinced (erroneously) that no other groups would want a black woman. So they fall back on the old tropes of 'love me some black men.' Think about that for a moment. Just how crazy does it sound? Do you know of any other group of women on the planet who claim to love all the men of their particular group? Of course not. Why? Because it sounds and IS crazy. It's a patented case of 'the lady doth protest too much.'

Of course, every time I say this I get accused of projecting. That just because I don't feel this fanatical need to proclaim my love for black men, I assume other women feel the same way. No, I'm just honest about the way I feel. They don't love us, and we most assuredly don't love them. Black women will not be truly liberated and free, until they can get real and honest about this truth. If you call yourself divested, but you're still emotionally invested in black men, you might as well still be locked inside with the soul patrol.

I've been told time and time again by black women that they're not attracted to men of other groups. This is bogus as well, and one of the worst cases of sour grapes I've ever seen. We're afraid that they don't want us, so, we've decided to not 'want' them first. Never mind that black men have been demonstrating in every way humanly possible that they don't 'want' us, yet we still cling to them. Bottom line is, what do we have to lose?

Black women are actually fortunate in this regard. There's nothing harder to fight against than someone who has nothing to lose. This is a powerful position if only we are smart enough to take advantage of it. What we're doing now leads to nothing but death and destruction. Even worse, it's multi-generational death and destruction. If we leave, there's a possibility for something better. This one really is a no-brainer.

Miriam/MaryAnn said...

TAKBEER

"AllahuAkbar"

TAKBEER

"AllahuAkbar"

Khadija

Go on with ya bad self!

Miriam/Mary Ann

Khadija said...

Hello there, Evia!

Thank you for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it. This is the point where all of the conversations at various BW empowerment blogs are coming together. I can feel it in my bones. I can see the difference in my own thinking; which has been transformed by listening to you as well as other "pioneer" BF bloggers such as Halima, etc.

THANK YOU for all the work you've done the past few years with your essays! I can't repeat this enough. Your work helped me greatly when I was a disoriented, escaped prisoner. Your work helped me transition of out still being emotionally enmeshed with BM's mass betrayals into a healthier, clinical detachment.

Thank you for recently highlighting Kola Boof's landmark essay. It's a smoker! I'm still reading it, but reading it is highlighting how much my thinking has changed. She's still DEEPLY invested in BM; and seems unwilling to admit that it's game over with resurrecting the Black world as it was before. I used to be the same way. Reallocating that particular mental/emotional investment into other things has been extremely liberating for me!

I also find the name "Sojourner" to be VERY meaningful and spirit-nurturing. On so many different levels. Sojourner Truth was OUR AA ancestor. We don't have to become other people in order to live well. All we need to do is take the best from who our people are, and walk in dignity.

Like I said, this is the result of many conversations spent contemplating what you, other BF bloggers, and the readers of various blogs have been saying. These are exciting times because it's all coming together!

Freedom of movement is a HUMAN right that is mentioned in many international charters. The Acting Black Crew, folks who want to reconstruct Big Mama's House, and Black folks in general have lost sight of this fact.

Additionally, as AAs OUR ancestors bought and paid for every square inch of this country. ALL of it belongs to US. Furthermore, as one non-AA blog reader pointed out in a comment, slave labor created the wealth enjoyed by the industrialized world. OUR ancestors' work made all of that possible. We are entitled to go wherever we wish on this planet (and beyond--LOL!) and reap the benefits of our ancestors' work.

You said, "And her "Ain't I a Woman?" question needs to make a lot of AA women just STOP--cease and desist THIS DAY from doing all of this heavy lifting and getting kicked in the butt for it more and more. I've always made it clear to all of those around me that I'm NOT doing ANY heavy lifting because "ain't I a woman?"

This is the key, right here. AA women are entitled to live as women. We are entitled to want the same things that most other women want (marriage and legitimate families with a man who protects and provides for us and our children). To paraphrase: "Ain't we women?"

You said, "And THANK YOU so much, Khadija for using your beautifully concise writing ability to spread this Common Sense philosophy, for clanging this bell. It makes me feel so less alone."

You're not alone. Not by a longshot! THANK YOU for holding the lantern up so that the rest of us could see the path!
______________________

Hello there, Roslyn!

Thank you for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it. This is the point where all of the conversations at various BW empowerment blogs are coming together. Listening to your and others' comments has helped me gain an understanding of AA women's TRUE circumstances. Thank you.

You're correct about the "love me some BM" women. It's all a massive bluff. I've observed that the "love me some BM" women tend to be the SAME women who are also saying "N-words ain't s***".

You said, "I've been told time and time again by black women that they're not attracted to men of other groups. This is bogus as well, and one of the worst cases of sour grapes I've ever seen. We're afraid that they don't want us, so, we've decided to not 'want' them first. Never mind that black men have been demonstrating in every way humanly possible that they don't 'want' us, yet we still cling to them. Bottom line is, what do we have to lose?

Black women are actually fortunate in this regard. There's nothing harder to fight against than someone who has nothing to lose. This is a powerful position if only we are smart enough to take advantage of it. What we're doing now leads to nothing but death and destruction. Even worse, it's multi-generational death and destruction. If we leave, there's a possibility for something better. This one really is a no-brainer."

This is it in a nutshell. BW have all the tools available to us to live well, if we would just use them.
________________

Hello there, SisterSeeking/Miriam/MaryAnn!

{blushing}Thank you for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. Whatever is of value is from God; only the mistakes are mine. And truly, God is Great. Allahu akbar!Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

I am a sojourner. I will always and forever continue to walk this path. I pray that I remain open to the needs of other women and girls and never block their entrance or hinder their progress. I promise to smile at others that are on this path. I promise to commit to keep this path open for others. I promise to raise my two beautiful daughters up to be sojourners.

This post was a timely post and one that will probably forever remain with me on my personal journey.

You are wonderful! Thank you!

Latasha

Enigma said...

This year I decided that I needed to make a lot of changes in my life. Thinking patterns, expectations, relationships etc. are in the process of being reconstructed. I want to say that ALL of the bw empowerment bloggers have assisted me in this process. When I felt that I really had no one to talk to about what I saw going on w/black men and the black community I found you ladies via the blog Black Women Blow the Trumpet & feel like I have an online home where I can just be me. How fabulous!! It is unfortunate that black folks/communties are NOT what we once were. However, life goes on and we (bw)must move on too. I am now dreaming bigger dreams and daring to work towards them. I humbly say thank you to all of you Ladies for myself and all those who read and don't comment - from the bottom of our hearts - please keep writing and thank you so much. OH, and excuse me if you note that I come often to read your blogs even when it is the same thing on your page. I am simply processing what you've wrote and figuring out what that really means for me.

Khadijah and Evia, I agree wholeheartedly with the name Sojourner and your takes on it. Making the move mentally to be free is the first step and that name definitely fits the ticket. I also noted that I am mentally OUT and have stopped trying to FIX things w/bm & the bc. I am currently in that limbo world of figuring out where am I going from here (EP w/positive prospects).

What Roslyn said about bw thought about bw are what I have noted as well. But I also think there is a bit more to it for some bw. Black women are justifiably angry at bm and the bc, but everyone else tells her that she has no right to be, that they can't be angry at bm's swag. LOL. Soooo bw eat their anger, they try to forgive away their anger - which is impossible because they never acknowledge what they are really angry about, they spread their anger to their kids, they make themselves ill with their anger and their fear. They fear that what they've been told about bw and the impressions of others is true - that they are angry, ugly, mean - horrible women to no one else except bm. No one wants them. I think however, the biggest poisoner of bw is the forgiving without acknowledging what you are really angry about. That is hiding in church. That is not being honest & authentic w/yourself. That is refusing to make a choice about what to do so that the when the opportunity to offend or callously hurt again it is promptly alleviated. In a way the refusal to acknowlege what is wrong, makes the person who is forgiving responsible for the offender's behavior because the behavior was neither confronted nor was a concious decision made about what to do about the behavior. I think a lot of black women are in this circle of thinking and they don't know how come they keep going thru thoughts of "they ain't *#@$" or "WTH" to "I should forgive that". I too did this and when I began to read these blogs I realized that there is no reason for me to be so vested in folks who don't even see me, love me, or care for me. I needed to make a choice to stop the madness and I did. I now remind myself to put my energy into doing things I can do something about and change - my life. So sorry that this is so long.

Halima said...

Khadija i too am very excited about the 'coming together' (as you so rightly deemed it) of the ideas to take bw forward.

when some of us started off, we did not even know what the end point was or what we were trying to do save share some wisdom about how bw could make the best of her current situation. Along the way we discovered broad themes, precepts, and principles and solutions which sometimes were strongly contested as forward motion often always is ( and I remember when the term DBR happened upon the scene lol!).

I am and have always been into word-tools and memes (thats why i too am excited about the concept of 'divestment' and thanks to rev lisa). Words like 'divestment' have both spoken to, tapped into and articulated a deep sentiment that needed to emerge on the situation of black women.

Each day the shroud to conceal bw's real and true circumstance (and keep them in a useable state for others), is being removed layer by layer, in additon we are beginning to hammer out some semblence of a framework for a needed new mindset that will enable bw survive and thrive.

I must say that it has been the free flowing of conversation (and cross pollination of ideas) that has enabled a lot of this to happen and maybe that is why in the beginning, my instincts were to fully enable bw to speak their minds regardless of how many folks were up in arms about the non pc nature of some of bw's conversation etc etc.

Now looking back, i think it was the right thing to let bw freely 'un-dam' their feelings and voices both which others were trying so hard to suppress and indeed force into 'acceptable' templates (read incomplete analysis).

It is no wonder, the suppression of bw voices disables our ability to join the dots and to see clear patterns and trends and formulate ideas for our freedom.

I also thanks you and evia for being bold and courageous to 'go there' (you know what i mean), despite the accusations and labeling that folks threw up to block the speaking of truth.

arthur said...

A brilliant essay. This kind of knowledge will be very useful in helping my granddaughter learn and follow the path of the Sojourner as she grows. Thanks for the education. Found only on these blogs ... SMH.

daphne said...

Beautiful essay. Fantastic job of rolling the essence of the pioneer bloggers, such as Halima and Evia, and current black women empowerment bloggers, such as yourself, Lisa, PVW, Roslyn, and others, and their messages into a Sojourner manifesto. I read Lisa's latest essay before this one - tell me your latest posts were not a happy accident! Seriously, it's like, "OK, there's the eulogy, and here's what comes after." Except, you two are much more eloquent and powerful in words than I am, hee. Brilliant.

Thank you for the post.

Khadija said...

Hello there, DeStouet!

Thank you for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it. And THANK YOU for your commitment to keeping the path open!
__________________

Hello there, Enigma!

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

You made a very important point about BW "forgiving away" their (justified) anger. It reminds me of the pattern with battered women, only there's generally NO acknowledgment (much less apology or sincere repentance) from BM that something wrong is happening.

Additionally, as the brilliant blogger CW (blog host of Black Women Deserve Better) has pointed out, nearly ALL examples of BM publicly expressing concern are the equivalent of batterer's apologies: Beat the woman, say you're sorry. Beat the woman again, say you're sorry again. Beat the woman a 3rd time, say you're sorry again.

For one particularly outrageous example, the man who hosts Salafi Burnout exposed how a Negro imam chosen to speak out against domestic violence (in the wake of the beheading in New York state) is a wife-beater himself!

I will pay attention to the words of BM like the ones who host the blogs Salafi Burnout and A Singular Voice (both listed on my blog roll) because they have confronted other BM about their inappropriate behavior.

But as to other BM who lack this track record of being of VALUE to BW and children...NO. Weak lip service only said when other BM aren't around is NOT enough. No more fake, sotto voce apologies to BW.
___________________

Hello there, Halima!

Yes, memes are powerful tools. How one frames a question usually determines the answer that is given. How one categorizes one's situation usually determines the course of action. This applies to individuals as well as nations of people.

[For example, we see the different results elicited by embarking on a "global war against terrorism" as opposed to "police investigations to apprehend violent criminals." Different circumstances respond best to different tools. A hammer and a scalpel are not interchangeable.]

You said, "I also thanks you and evia for being bold and courageous to 'go there' (you know what i mean), despite the accusations and labeling that folks threw up to block the speaking of truth."You're welcome. THANK YOU for being one of women who blazed the trail that I'm following! I'm one of the many BW that you helped with your essays. I can't thank you enough.
________________________

Hello there, Arthur!

Thank you for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it. Your granddaughter is truly blessed and already ahead of the game because she has a grandfather like you!
______________________

Hello there, Daphne!

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

I just read Lisa's latest (excellent as always) essay too! Ah, synchronicity...LOL!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aisha said...

As everyone has stated, this is probably your best essay to date. It is a blueprint for Black Women's Empowerment.

I am so overwhemlmed right now. I see so much of myself in what you have written. Like many others, I grew up hearing propaganda abut how dangerous mingling with outside groups could be. Yusef Hawkins ring a bell? I was taught to be suspicious of whites, and that other minorities were my friends. Wrong! This is why it's important to look at your own experiences versus "common knowledge."

I am still in the process of overcoming some embedded fears and insecurities about dealing with certain groups outside of the Black construct. I felt (and still do to an extent) that other groups would not accept me, and I am too proud and love my culture too much for that. I need to cultivate more positive experiences to show me that isn't true.

I realize how I could have spent the rest of my life in the prison yard, and what I could have missed out on. Your blog is a huge part of my soujourner path. Thank you.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I join the others, Khadija, in saluting you!

[PVW makes a deep bow.]

I have always looked to Sojourner Truth as inspiration, in particular for the "Ain't I a Woman" speech, because as you mentioned, it inspires black women to recall that they are women, and to never forget it in the face of all the pressures for black women to forget about their gender, even though both their gender and race matter.

Like you said, it should be the anthem of every black woman who is being told that she is/needs to be a "strong black woman".

When I think about it, I have been a sojourner, in that I always felt entitled in my life journey, to be unafraid to venture off the conventional path in order to pursue opportunities to grow and develop!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Aisha!

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

You said, "I am so overwhemlmed right now. I see so much of myself in what you have written."Most AA women who grew up in typical AA surroundings have been through at least one of the phases I mentioned. I've grown detached and indifferent towards BM in general; which means that I no longer care enough to rant for long about whatever they're doing.

Nevertheless, I'm still DEEPLY angry with the Black underclass, the Acting Black Crew, incompetent "grassroots" activists and others that were integral in destroying Big Mama's house.

I miss Big Mama's house. I had a wonderful childhood growing up in the warmth of Big Mama's house. I would have preferred to live as an adult BW in the warmth of Big Mama's house as all the AA women that came before us did. But that is not to be. We must move on.

As I said in a comment to Lisa's latest essay, there is a real distinction to be made between "Black Unity" as it was during its youth and middle age and what "Black Unity" turned into after it became senile.

So many of the people belittling the now-senile, Alzheimer's-afflicted "Black Unity" never had any affection for it in the first place. Many didn't grow up in Big Mama's house. They didn't get to meet and know Black Unity before it became senile and mostly destructive of those it had originally protected.

I loved my Big Mama AND her house as it was. I still cherish her and all the things she taught me.

In a similar way, I loved "Black Unity" and still cherish what it did for me and countless other AAs during its prime years.
I see the legions of self-hating, servile colored boys and girls. I know that without "Black Unity," I might have turned into such a person over the years.

Most AAs are afflicted with some degree of ethnic and racial self-hatred. In its prime years, "Black Unity" helped to keep the worst ravages of that deep-seated lack of self-respect at bay. After all, we see what happened to AAs after "Black Unity" became senile. [The escalation of the paper-bag test into a manila folder test; the requirement that Black entertainers be or look like White women's children; flyers advertising parties for light-skinned women,etc.]

"Black Unity" was never perfect, and yes, it needs to be buried. But I'm doing so with LOVE and respect for all it did for me, not with an attitude of contempt.
_____________________

Hello there, PioneerValleyWoman!

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

Yep. Ain't we women?! Time out on carrying men's burdens.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Khadija: You've written many challenging thought-provoking essays. This by far I think is your best so-far! I can't wait to read what other jewels of wisdom come through you. What's also great is I was able to read this on my Blackberry with ease. Wow! Thank you for this....

Khadija said...

Hello there, Faith!

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

"Jewels of wisdom," you say? Umm...I don't know about the "wisdom" part. In fact, now that I think about it, I KNOW that I'm not particularly "wise." "Clever," yes. "Smart," yes. But "wise"? NO! LOL! I've just been living life and trying to pay attention! LOL!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Nu Girl said...

Khadija, thank you for this post ! This one brought me out of my state of solitude, because I just had to express how much this post gave me.

A couple of months ago I attended a one day wellness fast in Harlem. An elder sister who I have always admired took the stage to address the audience. And out of the blue she said that at 60 years of age she was alone because in her younger years she was "too picky". She warned us younger women not to make the same mistake. At this point my mind was blown. One, how could such a vibrant beautiful sister be alone. Two, how could she get in front of an audience of black women with such a message and not ellaborate.

Not being "picky" is whats killing us!

Well, I needed her to ellaborate, so I flagged her down after the fast and I told her that I am a 29 year old women and that my peers are lost and dying. I asked her to elaborate on what she meant by "too picky". She told me she meant being too critical of a mans faults. That answer was not enough for me, I needed more. That is when she directed me to buy her book and the answer would be in there. Well I did not buy her book. But sister I would certainly buy your book if you so choose to write one.

Much Love and Respect,

Monique

Khadija said...

Hello there, NuGirl/Monique!

Thank you for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it. Let me also say how deeply touched I am by you (and others) coming out of the "cyber witness protection program" for a moment and sharing your name with me. I am honored.

Back to the elder you mentioned. {very long sigh}

The reality is that there's now about 2 "Lost Generations" of AA women in their 40s and older. Women who made the mistake of remaining in the prison yard of all-Black social constructs. Women who refused to widen their dating/mating pool to include non-Black men. Women who held on to the fantasy of "Black love" for too long, instead of seeing what the global world of men had to offer.

These women are either in terrible "relationships" with Negroes or they are "officially" alone. I count both categories of women as being alone because a bad relationship (that creates life-damaging heartache) is 1,000 times worse than NO relationship.

In the case of the elder you mentioned, she did these things and drew the WRONG lesson(s) from her experiences. What she's advocating is what the brilliant BF blogger named Sara (of Interracial Love And Spice By Sara) called "the race to the bottom." "The race to the bottom" consists of BW endlessly lowering their standards when it comes to BM.

As you stated, this "race to the bottom" is the road to DEATH for BW. It ultimately leads to being involved with BM jailbirds, dope fiends, down-lows, harem-operators, etc. I notice that after a BW is killed by such a BM paramour, she is (often rightfully) blamed for being invovled with her murderer in the first place.

However, these two positions are contradictory. Folks can't demand that AA women lower their (already too low) standards, and then gloat over their dead bodies when they're murdered by scum that they dated/married.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of younger AA women who will end up just like this elder if they don't change course. It's been disheartening to see so many younger AA women "blow off" my warnings to them about restricting themselves to BM. They continue to do this even though they are either officially alone, or desperately unhappy with the Negro males who are exploiting them. They are wasting their PRIME YEARS of life like this.

I remember how Evia (hilariously) described many AA women's behavior in response to favorable attention from QUALITY non-Black men as "ducking, dodging and acting strange." I laughed out loud when I read this, because I've seen so many of us do this. I did this in the past. But no more! LOL!

Let me repeat another VITAL bit of info that Evia shared: Other types of BW don't have AA women's hangups about dating/marrying non-BM. These other BW see the opportunities to marry WELL, and they're happily snapping them up!

If AA women continue "ducking, dodging, and acting strange" when QUALITY non-BM approach us, we will miss out altogether! QUALITY non-BM will catch the hint to leave AA women alone, and only approach non-AA BW.

The time for AA women to leave the prison yard is right NOW.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

Khadija,

I love this essay! I definitely think that you should have it copyrighted or turned into a book or something. I just wanted to let you know that I loved it and I will come back after more reflection.

Peace and solidarity,

Tasha

Khadija said...

Hello there, Tasha!

Thank you for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it. I'm currently writing a book, but it's about business matters. And next up, I plan to write a science fiction novel. I don't know if or when I'll get around to doing a book about these matters. LOL!

Ahh...the matter of the content-thieves. Well, I need the readers' help looking out for that. I don't mind (in fact I want) this essay to be discussed, AS LONG AS I'm given the proper attribution. This is all explained by clicking the "Creative Commons License" icon link on this blog.

Also, I have no interest in making money from the essay. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, it's just that I choose to keep my economic activities completely separate from my quasi-"ministry" here---LOL! At least that's how I choose to do things for now. I could change my mind in the future.

Let me stress that there's nothing wrong with anybody being compensated for their online works (including essays) because it's a FAIR EXCHANGE of value!

However, I DON'T want anybody else trying to make money off of MY work!!! Again, I need the readers' help with this. Please let me know if you see folks trying to sell my work, or claim my work as their own.

The essay (along with the rest) is copyrighted. From Copyright Basics by the U.S. Copyright Office:

"Copyright Secured Automatically upon CreationThe way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. (See following note.) There are, however, certain definite advantages to registration. See “Copyright Registration” on page 7.

Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is “created” when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. “Copies” are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm.

“Phonorecords” are material objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or vinyl disks. Thus, for example, a song (the “work” can be fixed in sheet music (“copies”) or in phonograph disks (“phonorecords”), or both.

If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date."
Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

The reality is that there's now about 2 "Lost Generations" of AA women in their 40s and older. Women who made the mistake of remaining in the prison yard of all-Black social constructs. Women who refused to widen their dating/mating pool to include non-Black men. Women who held on to the fantasy of "Black love" for too long, instead of seeing what the global world of men had to offer.

These women are either in terrible "relationships" with Negroes or they are "officially" alone. I count both categories of women as being alone because a bad relationship (that creates life-damaging heartache) is 1,000 times worse than NO relationship.

In the case of the elder you mentioned, she did these things and drew the WRONG lesson(s) from her experiences. What she's advocating is what the brilliant BF blogger named Sara (of Interracial Love And Spice By Sara) called "the race to the bottom." "The race to the bottom" consists of BW endlessly lowering their standards when it comes to BM.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of younger AA women who will end up just like this elder if they don't change course. It's been disheartening to see so many younger AA women "blow off" my warnings to them about restricting themselves to BM. They continue to do this even though they are either officially alone, or desperately unhappy with the Negro males who are exploiting them. They are wasting their PRIME YEARS of life like this.

I remember how Evia (hilariously) described many AA women's behavior in response to favorable attention from QUALITY non-Black men as "ducking, dodging and acting strange." I laughed out loud when I read this, because I've seen so many of us do this. I did this in the past. But no more! LOL!

Let me repeat another VITAL bit of info that Evia shared: Other types of BW don't have AA women's hangups about dating/marrying non-BM. These other BW see the opportunities to marry WELL, and they're happily snapping them up!

My reply:

Talk about synergy! I have been thinking of this today, and I posted on this onto Rev. Lisa's blog. Here is what I posted:

I was thinking about this point in light of some magazines I saw while I was out running errands this afternoon.

One was of People, or something like that, showing the singer Seal on the cover with Heidi Klum. The other was of a local New England publication, Boston magazine, linked below.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/what_turns_us_on/page5

The link is to an interesting article about dating in Boston, and the most striking aspect of the materials was a piece where readers were encouraged to imagine which individuals were partnered.

All the photos were randomly placed, and it was a matter of guessing. Upon turning the page, the reader discovered the right answers.

None of the women in the pictures were women of color, and the two men of color, a South Asian man and a black man, were partnered with white women.

Forgetting about the media's focus on the white female ideal, and the possibility that the magazine editors are all whites who have their own racial perspectives and have a targeted demographic (white women, perhaps), there was arguably something else going on.

I recalled all the wailing black women have done over black men with non-black women, especially in black women's magazines, on the talk-shows and those so-called news specials, the old "Black women, It sucks to be You," where black women are told that they are less likely to marry, are more likely to raise their children out of wedlock, and do not date men of other backgrounds.

All I could think of is the way that black women in those programs would talk about the importance of black unity, that they wanted black men to date and marry because of their unity agenda.

Yet, thinking about the magazines I just described, consider the effects of the ideology: black men (who don't ascribe to the unity agenda in the way black women do) feel free to date and marry whomever they want, while black women are invisible.

What is the message then that black women told the world? They don't date and they don't marry. They would rather be alone than be with someone of a non-black background.

Rather than address questions of race and racism and how black women are affected, this might very well have led the rest of the world to say, perhaps they like it that way, otherwise, they would do something different.

Talk about shooting oneself in the foot! Talk about taking the trick bag!

Black women told the world they don't date and marry men of other backgrounds, so that left non-black women to be celebrated by men of all backgrounds, because those women feel free (in a multicultural society) to accept and appreciate men for being the men they are, and race is irrelevant.

In your words, Khadija, they "gave up their crowns!"

Both the black men and non-black women seem progressive as a result, while black women seem reactionary in comparison.

On another note, I was glancing at a book that talks about the history of interracial relationships and marriages in the post-war era: Renee C. Romano, Race Mixing: Black-White Marriage in Postwar America.

Reading it, I was reminded of the trick bag I discussed above.

Khadija said...

Hello there, PioneerValleyWoman!

You said, "Both the black men and non-black women seem progressive as a result, while black women seem reactionary in comparison."Yes, this is a trickbag that BW have fallen for. But, interestingly, there IS a way for BW to turn this situation to our advantage. Let me engage in some harsh, non-diplomatic, blunt talk for a moment:

AA males are for the most part fatherless. This means that they never grew up seeing what a husband and REAL father looks like or does. This means that unlike typical men from other groups, they tend to need "special ed" coaching to perform even the most basic of husbandly/fatherly duties. This does NOT bode well for any woman of any race who hooks up with them.

And the proof can be found in the court system. The bulk (as in 99.99%) of the "biracial" children in foster care are the products of BM. The vast majority of children in general in foster care are BM's children, regardless of the mother's race. The only difference is that the "biracial" children are usually quickly scooped up and adopted by infertile White couples.

Looked at in the harsh light of normal, traditional HUMAN standards of manhood (protecting and providing for women and children), non-Black women are doing BW a great favor by hooking up with BM. When non-BW hook up with BM, these women are no longer in the competition for QUALITY non-BM!I made the following comment in response to the blog post "tell the truth and shame the devil" dated 8/17/08 by the brilliant blogger Focused Purpose (her blog is listed on my blog roll):

"FP,

I've been pondering what you said earlier about White men having a plan to unload the weakest links among White women on foolish Black men. While these same White men help themselves to the best of the best of ALL races of women.

My God!!! You're right!!! I never thought about it this way. That's some deep strategic thinking. You are brilliant. Sis, thank you for breaking that down.

I agree with you that it's quite possible for Black women to turn this situation around to our advantage. We just have to wake up and stop concerning ourselves with what Black men think, say, want, or do. And focus on having our own needs met.

More blunt talk from me: Since most Black men are powerless in the global scheme of things, what's in it for us (and our children) to continue hitching our fate to them? Answer----More the of same: sorrow, suffering, and ultimately death.

I was willing to play the "solidarity game" earlier in life because I was under the delusion that Black men were struggling WITH us. The Dunbar Village Atrocity and its aftermath snatched these rose-petals off of my prescription glasses. I know better now.

I also know that once more Black women totally disconnect from the non-protective & non-providing majority of Black men, the quality of life will dramatically improve for Black women and children. As the quote says, at this point, Black women "have nothing to lose but our chains." And we have everything to gain by cutting these men loose."
I stand by these words today.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

And the proof can be found in the court system. The bulk (as in 99.99%) of the "biracial" children in foster care are the products of BM. The vast majority of children in general in foster care are BM's children, regardless of the mother's race. The only difference is that the "biracial" children are usually quickly scooped up and adopted by infertile White couples.Khadija, this statement you made above is why it's so necessary to follow any trend to its most logical conclusion. When a man of any race or group sleeps with a woman of another skin shade, it doesn't mean he has become a CHANGED man. LOL! This is why all of this moaning about bm 'leaving home' is ridiculous to me. These males are taking their damage along with everything else with them to other women.

Tons of bw need to ask themselves: "Why would I even want a damaged man or an NV or LV man?" A typical AA woman cannot afford to mate with ANY man from any group who's in these categories. That's why I've always emphasize QUALITY in men. Period.

Maybe a ww or other woman can or believe they can afford to mate with males of this sort because as you pointed out, an abandoned biracial child may be scooped up faster. Unfortunately, there will still be a LOT of emotionally damaged biracial children coming from those unions because input = output, and when those children start acting out that damage (because damage cannot be contained but so much), black-white biracials are going to be demoted. In general, other people tend to distance themselves from acting out people of any group. This is not going to change.

AA women should consider much about this current situation a blessing and LEARN the necessary lessons and keep on moving sanely. But the crux of this issue is that the majority of AA women have to BROADEN THEIR DATING AND MATING OPTIONS. This is why I've stressed this from day 1. We can use billions of words and talk about this for decades, but this is the bottom line. As long as the bulk of them believe there are no alternatives, the mating will continue, but they will continue to mate DOWN.

Khadija said...

Evia,

WORD. AA women need to take their eyes OFF of BM and expand their marrige horizons. As you described, input = output. AA men do NOT change their (dysfunctional) ways when they hook up with non-BW. [Just consider the apparently non-involved BM fathers of even celebrity "biracials" such as Halle Berry, etc. That leopard is NOT going to change its spots. No matter where it goes.]

AA men's "trend lines" are not favorable. The trend lines for AA men's "biracial" offspring are not favorable. And, as you noted, these offspring will eventually be demoted by the larger society.

As you noted, much of this situation is a blessing in disguise, IF BW wake up, wise up, and move on to the global stage!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

C4L said...

I have been on the "Road less traveled" for over 25 years. I saw within my own family along having attended an all-black university how things were changing. I was ostracized my the black community and own family then for my choices. I chose to move away from all of it to escape the "crabs in a barrel mentality".

I have lived my life as a "Sojourner". At first I was very much alone (but never lonely), however I have no regrets.

Your essay articulates extremely well my experiences and my realizations.

Thank you for your blog which in a way affirms that the "Road less traveled" is a wonderful road indeed!

Khadija said...

Hello there, C4L!

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

The Sojourner's path is a healthy, life-affirming one. There's no logical reason for it to be the one that is "less traveled" by AA women.

If the masses of AA women ultimately refuse to get on the Sojourner's path, they AND their children will die in the wilderness. It will also confirm to me that many AA women are so unwilling to make changes that they would actually rather wallow in suffering and diminished lives...

...Which is what I'm beginning to suspect. On that note, I strongly recommend Halima's latest essay about this topic at her blog, Black Women's IR Circle.I find it amazing that ONLY among AAs the healthy, productive roads are consistently the ones that are "less traveled." Everybody else seems to gravitate to healthy, productive roads. {shaking my head}

AAs weren't always this confused. We couldn't have been this confused in the past. If we were, we would NOT have survived to see the 21st century.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

C4L said...

Hi Khadija,

25 years ago, it was definitely the road less traveled but I must concur with you that I rarely come across BW who have made the decision to live their life for themselves versus holding on to the hope that one day some quality BM will come and sweep them off their feet. Instead they are alone and still waiting....

Most are just plain angry. I have never been angry at BMs, why should I be -->"ain't I a woman?"

There are too many men in the global village and I have never limited myself to BMs. Therefore, I was never waiting, it was more the problem of choosing the right man. LOL!!!

I myself looked beyond the BM horizon and have been happily married for many years with a quality non-BM.

Khadija said...

Here's just one recent, Chicago-area example of why BW shouldn't stress themselves over Negroes "leaving home" and taking their damage to non-Black women. This particular Negro stabbed to death the White girl that's the mother of his child, along with several members of her family:"Stabbing suspect arrested, freed before attack

April 20, 2009 5:58 PM | UPDATED STORY

Less than an hour before authorities say D'Andre Howard started a confrontation that ended with three deaths, Hoffman Estates police arrested him on an outstanding warrant, a department spokesman said this afternoon.

Lt. Rich Russo said officers responded to a complaint about loud music at Howard's apartment early Friday morning and ran his name as a routine check. When they discovered that Oak Park police had a warrant on him, they arrested him at 12:32 a.m. and took him to the Hoffman Estates police department, where he was booked, processed and bonded out, Russo said.

The arrest warrant was for a traffic violation, according to Oak Park police.

Russo said he does not know how much money Howard, 20, had to post for bail or who paid it. But while in custody, Howard gave no sign of hostile intent toward anyone, Russo said.

"If we had any indication this person would harm anybody, we wouldn't have released him," he said.

Howard had been arguing with his girlfriend earlier in the evening, authorities said, and arrived at the home of her parents about 1:30 a.m. Howard and his girlfriend, who had a child together, began quarreling anew, and authorities said their dispute drew in several members of the Engelhardt family.

Authorities said Howard ultimately killed three of them: Laura Engelhardt, 18; her father, Alan Engelhardt, 57; and her grandmother, Marlene Gacek, 73. They said he also critically injured Laura's mother, 52.

This morning, during a court appearance in Rolling Meadows, prosecutors won permission to obtain DNA samples from Howard. The samples will be compared with bloody palm and fingerprints as well as footprints found in the home, prosecutors told Cook County Circuit Judge Jill Cerone-Marisie.

The palm and fingerprints were found on a bloody kitchen knife, said Assistant State's Atty. Maria McCarthy, adding the bloody footprints were found throughout the house.

Some of the blood could be Howard's as he was also injured, authorities said.

In a hearing over the weekend, prosecutors had said that Howard became enraged after his girlfriend walked out on him with their child. At that time, he was ordered held without bail in what prosecutors called a potential death-penalty case.

The episode began, prosecutors said, when Howard and his girlfriend, Amanda Engelhardt, 23, got into a heated argument Thursday night over Howard's alleged infidelities. Engelhardt left the apartment with their 8-month-old and went to her family's home a few blocks away.

Most of the eight people there were sleeping when Howard showed up at 1:30 a.m. Friday, prosecutors said. Soon the couple began arguing again -- waking those sleeping above the first-floor family room.

Concerned about the noise, mother Shelly Engelhardt crept downstairs with her 18-year-old honor student daughter, Laura Engelhardt. As the two approached the family room, Howard confronted them with a butcher knife he'd taken from the kitchen, prosecutors said. He threatened all three women before tying them up with yarn as they sat on a couch, authorities added.

A few minutes later Amanda Engelhardt's aunt -- whom authorities did not identify -- came downstairs. After telling the aunt to join the others on the couch, Howard inexplicably decided to untie them, prosecutors said. He set down the knife and untied Laura Engelhardt first. Prosecutors said as Howard untied his girlfriend, her sister Laura decided to defend her family.

Prosecutors laid out a quick chain of events: Laura Engelhardt grabbed the knife and slashed Howard's arm, but he got it back and stabbed her several times. As she lay bleeding, Howard critically wounded Shelly Engelhardt, stabbing her in the heart and lungs. Next, Howard found the grandmother, Gacek, in the kitchen and fatally stabbed her in the chest as she tried to get away. Howard then killed the father, Alan Engelhardt, slashing his throat before he collapsed in the family room near his seriously injured wife and daughter, prosecutors said.

Howard returned to the family room, where his girlfriend, who was not injured, convinced him to let her call police. When officers arrived about 6 a.m., they found Alan Engelhardt and Gacek dead and Laura Engelhardt critically wounded, police said. Before she died about noon Friday in a hospital, she identified Howard as the attacker, police said.

Howard's lawyer, an assistant public defender, said Saturday that Howard suffers mental health problems, has a history of juvenile delinquency and was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse as a juvenile in 2004."

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/04/
hoffman-estates-stabbings-dandre-howard-court-hearing.html

roslynholcomb said...

Maybe I'm too optimistic, but over the years I've had too many encounters with 'nuttin but a black men' women, who have suddenly had a Road to Damascus moment. I got another one this week. I had a conversation with a group of women on a hair board back in the late-nineties. She was one of the most vehement women I'd ever encountered in her determination that 'only a black man would do.' This, of course, told me that she actually overcompensating. I told her so, and she insisted that she'd rather die alone than date out. I said okay, and kept it moving.

Anyway, I got an email from her this week, and surprise! surprise! she's done a complete 180! Is now engaged to a non-bm and wanted to let me know. I've gotten a LOT of these over the years. So many that I'm convinced that most black women, especially the most vehement ones, are only one decent proposition from a non-bm man to dating out.

@Enigma said, Soooo bw eat their anger, they try to forgive away their anger - which is impossible because they never acknowledge what they are really angry about, they spread their anger to their kids, they make themselves ill with their anger and their fear.This is so correct. We are so consumed with rage that like women are wont to do, we turn it inward and let it consume us. This is why we're plagued with various and sundry illnesses. We eat our rage literally with a fork and spoon. Our rage fills our uteruses with fibroid tumors. I have no doubt in my mind that this 'epidemic' of obesity and fibroids in black women are related to our denial of our righteous anger. We too afraid to turn it outwards and direct it towards those who have earned it, so we turn it inwards and destroy ourselves.

I don't know a black woman over the age of 35 who hasn't had fibroid tumors in some way or another. Even famous black women like former SOS Rice and Oprah are not immune. They directly impact our lives, and I'm convinced that having seen the fruit of our wombs left unprotected to be raped and murdered in the streets of our communities we eliminate the potential for producing offspring by developing fibroids. The fruit of our womb is unwanted and unprotected, so much like animals in the wild won't produce or spontaneously abort in difficult times, black women are doing much the same.

Quiet as it's kept, black women have the highest rates of infertility of any group in this country. Most of that is probably attributable to fibroids and the aftereffects. Fibroids can act like an IUD in the womb preventing implantation, and we already know how powerful the mind/body connection is.

C4L said...

Hi Khadija,

WORD.

First, my heart goes out to any family that is a victim of violence due to the choices of other family members.

Now that that is out of the way...

This another perfect example of DBR BM. At only 20 years old with this kind of history.... Men like this you avoid like the plague. I correct myself, he is not even a man, someone of this nature is does not fit the category of a man.

As for his attorney's comments:

"Howard's lawyer, an assistant public defender, said Saturday that Howard suffers mental health problems, has a history of juvenile delinquency and was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse as a juvenile in 2004.""

Well, let's just say he is prepping a defense of innocent by reason of insanity. My opinion (admittedly only based on the write-up), this negro has been nothing but trouble for a long time. To be only 20 and already been convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse when he was 15, his future has had a "Go Directly To Jail Card" stamped on it for quite some time.

Won't be losing any sleep on this one.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Roslyn!

I share your optimism. That is, as long as BW leave all-Black residential areas and STOP socializing in all-Black settings. That's the key to this entire situation.

(Straight) men in general like women in general.

Almost all BW have had experiences where QUALITY non-BM have approached us. That usually happens on those occasions when we step outside of the all-Black social hell zone. The problem is that most AA women start "ducking, dodging, and acting strange" when this occurs. And so, we miss opportunities to date and marry well.

In order to increase our odds of dating and marrying well, we have to be in settings where these QUALITY non-Black men are. These men are NOT hanging around Black residential areas, and they are NOT hanging around all-Black social settings.

It's really very simple.
_______________________

Hello there, C4L!

One of the Marine Corps Negroes I discussed in a post from 1/31/09 ("The Negative National Security Impact of DBRBM") went on to murder his White girlfriend after he returned to the US. This was after he served time in a Japanese prison for raping and beating a 10 or 12 year old Japanese girl (along with 2 other DBRBM) while he was stationed in Okinawa.

BW need to STOP pining after Negroes. The world is WIDE, and filled with many QUALITY men.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lormarie said...

This is a great essay with so much to take in. All I can say is the bw empowerment message is a lot more acceptable to bw than I thought. I have a few Myspace black nationalist type bw friends who would benefit from yours, Rev Lisa's, and many other bwe links.

Miriam said...

I want to come out of lurking mode to tell you I'd buy your book if you wrote on this topic.

Your blog so vital! I don't see why a book would be as -or more- helpful to BW.

************
That Engelhart story was painful to read. And my hometown Chicago?!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Lormarie!

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

Hello there, Miriam!

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

Yep. DBRBM are doing all sorts of destructive things. To everybody and anybody who happens to be around them. This points to something that BW need to finally get through their heads: An ethnic group composed of FATHERLESS males CANNOT survive, much less function.

BW must stop the cycle of having fatherless children. The way to stop the cycle is by dating and marrying quality men. Men who were raised to manhood by fathers are more likely to be QUALITY men. Most AA men do NOT fit this profile. Most of them are fatherless. The way to increase the odds of marrying a QUALITY man is to expand our dating/marriage horizons to include non-BM.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ValeriesWorld said...

'This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes'. This it caused me to cry.

Isaiah 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulders, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anoiting'

Well that day has already come and it is this day. My daily prayer is for black women can open their eyes and leave those institutions, which are binding them and chaining them and realize God will provide and get on with their lives and do great things, they were destined for.

Khadija, this essay so powerful. God bless you and thank you!

Let God look after the black man and he has already done that already at the foundations of the world. We look after ourselves.

Thank you once again for a truly brilliant piece of work.

Khadija said...

Hello there, ValeriesWorld!

You're welcome. Thank you SO much for your kind words and kind wishes! I truly appreciate it. Wa baraka Allahu feek! ["And may God bless YOU!"]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


I hope that you are blessed 1 million times over for all that you do and have done to uplift BW! This is another true gem.



I never had the level of clarity and awareness you have around this..for me, as I have said before I am clueless about what black is as I don't feel anything negative or positive, but there were times when I would stay away from certain 'all black constructs' because I knew they didn't feel very good and I wouldn't be comfortable or feel literally threatened/harmed. I didn't connect the dots in the way that you did- it was more instinctual and much more fragmented.


A lot of the information I absorbed about BM came from other older women- which as you stated was outdated info. I never connected the dots about the mass failures and betrayls. Again the big picture was fragmented. I just knew that something wasn't right, but in spite of that I had this image in my mind that a BM was supposed to be my natural mate.


Although I have never went out and tried to reconstruct Big Mama's house -I will say that I have been or expressed variations of all that you mentioned at different times in my life.




Right now I am an apologetic sojourner.


At different times I would feel pressured by others (of any race) to apologize/explain/justify why I was stepping outside "my place" to reap some benefit. The times this happened I was angry with them, but now I am angry with myself for doing that. It has become so common to me to do this (which i suppose is another version of the downplaying of my accomplishments I used to do when I was a kid) that as I work toward my goals I actually pre plan the spin I am going to tell others.


This quote is one I wish I could permanently imprint in my brain:

"as AAs OUR ancestors bought and paid for every square inch of this country. ALL of it belongs to US. ...., slave labor created the wealth enjoyed by the industrialized world. OUR ancestors' work made all of that possible. We are entitled to go wherever we wish on this planet (and beyond--LOL!) and reap the benefits of our ancestors' work."


I love this! It is so true. I wish I knew then what I am learning now. If I had owned this truth I never would have been an apologist.


Another comment I wanted to add is that BM know that some BW feel that they have nothing else and they exploit that insecurity. I have personally witnessed where BM have told BW point blank that they would not be able to make it outside of all black constructs. They wouldn't be welcomed, accepted, and would never fit in. I have also seen an experienced class insecurities exploited this way.



@Aisha


I got those messages about how dangerous being outside of all black constructs can be, but it was mostly from older gens who lived through Jim Crow, the 60's and 70's.

I think many BW live double lives. Even though some of us live and socialize in all black constructs we have always had to function in some manner outside those constructs and have done so longer than BM; whether we were domestics in nonblack homes in the past, or are pursuing advanced, quality education and careers in the present. Most all black areas are deserts when it comes to jobs, services, etc so we have always had to go outside the community whenever we had to do/accomplish certain things.

But I can understand some of your insecurities- I grew up in the south. I guess its all a matter being shrewd enough to be able to see things with clarity and being able to work each situation to your advantage.


I have seen this exploited by BM as well. I have heard some BM say that if you go out there and something Jim Crow/slavish happens - we won't have your backs- as if they ever had them anyway.




@ Roslyn,

It is so interesting that you mention obesity and fibroids.

I have some reproductive health issues that go back to when I was a child. I can remember being somewhere between 8-11 and seeing a pediatrician. I was lying on the table and she told my mother that she thought I had PID, but as far as I can remember it was never followed up on or treated in any way.


Starting at aged 13 up until some years ago I would do the yearly gyno routine and while I was never diagnosed with fibroids, I was diagnosed with something else when I was very young and I was told that I would need help should I try and conceive.

I was really upset at the diagnosis, was sent to many doctors and endocrinologists, my health care was not managed right, I was treated badly, and I couldn't get solid answers. I was researching, writing letters, and filing complaints and then I stopped and shut down. It was too much too draining and overwhelming.


This is something I am still in semi-denial about because I really don't want to work myself into a mentally/emotionally agitated state.

I am conflicted in that sometimes when I am feeling good I think about being married and having children. Then there are times when I think I would prefer to enjoy my husband without children because honestly, I don't think I maternal. Then there are times I think of all it takes to raise a child and I fear I can't measure up or do a good enough job.



I have only told three people ever. The first person I blurted to because I was so upset - the day it happened (the diagnoses) and I was so hysterical and his was response was, "Well there is no use in you crying about it."

The second person is no better in that she is giving me bad advice. Two years ago I had a hysterical moment where I told her. I was thinking I know that a woman's fertility declines with age and here I am with this issue on top of
dealing with normal aging and my window may be much shorter than the average woman's. And her response has been- if its meant to happen - it will happen. And when I state this as my reasons for wanting an older husband/partner because in addition to being attracted to them and thinking they are more stable/mature - I feel that there would be much less pressure to conceive and that gets shot down too. She asks me what old men don't want to start new families with younger women?

My point was that I know a young/er man who has never had children will want that and I can't do that to someone knowing that my fertility is 'iffy' at best. And I think I would crack under that kind of pressure and all those ups and downs of trying to conceive.


Then the 3rd woman was a fellow priestess in my religion whom I had a reading with back in Dec 07. This was when I started earnestly searching for answers about marriage and relationships and people were looking at me crazy and leaving- except at Evia's blog. Since we all have a yearly reading and they have been pretty accurate I was going to ask about family and children, but it turned turned out that whole reading was about this without me asking. The main theme of the reading was that I should prepare for a family. I went on and asked questions about IR ad other specifics, then after we interpreted the reading together she turned to me and said that she didn't think that this would be wise. Which now looking back was not something that a priest should do.


At any rate a part of me gets livid when I hear BM advise BW not to worry about having children and that whole biological clock thing starts getting thrown about and they all pull out the stories of women who have given birth at 70. Which I think is awesome if that is what a woman wants to do, but I think that it is not realistic for most women.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Aphrodite!

Thank you SO much for your kind words and kind wishes! I truly appreciate it. Wa baraka Allahu feek! ["And may God bless YOU!"]

I can't emphasize several things enough:

First, that whatever is of value in these essays is from God; only the mistakes are mine.

Second, that whatever insight I've gained is a result of listening to the words of many brilliant BF bloggers such as the following partial list (which is in no particular order):

Halima, of the blog Black Women's IR Circle;Evia, of the blog Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine;Hagar's Daughter, of the blog Hagar's Daughters;Rev. Lisa Vazquez, of the blog Black Women, Blow The Trumpet!;Focused Purpose, of the blog Focused Purpose;PioneerValleyWoman, of the blog EpiscopalienneSara, of the blog Interracial Love and Spice...by Sara; especially an essay of hers from 3-19-08 titled "Yes, we've been replaced--Now what do we do about it?" (When the blog was called "Sara's blog, Interracial love");

CW, of the blog Black Women Deserve Better.Third, I was in a Black Nationalist trance for over 2 DECADES. I did NOT do any "reality testing" to see if the ideology I had adopted by the end of high school was still functional. I just didn't think about it; I continued on ideological "autopilot."

It took stumbling onto Gina's blog, What About Our Daughters, and finding out about the Dunbar Village Atrocity to snap me out of this trance I had been in.

It also took a particularly disturbing conversation at the blog Ruminations of a Racial Realist to complete the process of "snapping out of it." Pioneer Valley Woman remembers this conversation! LOL!

To summarize it very quickly: A throng of self-proclaimed Black Nationalist men (who, of course, do NOT have ticking biological clocks) were applauding the martyrdom choice of a BW who wrote in to say that she would not date non-Black men. This is despite the fact that she described her circumstances as: In her 30s, living in an area where there were few BM; and the few BM that are around are focused on chasing non-Black women.

I got into it with these males (including the blog host's now-husband) when I loudly proclaimed that BW have a GOD-GIVEN right to have the same opportunities for marriage, legitimate family lives, and husbands who are protectors and providers for them and they're children as every other race of women on this planet. And that if BW found themselves in circumstances where the only available choices for this was with non-Black men (such as the earlier-described BW's circumstances), so be it.

I didn't know that this (the idea that BW were entitled to marriage and family) was a controversial notion within self-proclaimed "Black love" circles. The blog host's now-husband was in denial that such circumstances as described by the reader existed. He insisted that any BW who had a positive attitude about BM would find her Black, shining prince.

One Negro wrote in to disparage the value of marriage, and asked what did marriage do for anybody. I mentioned that sometimes we get so sophisticated that we lose touch with basic human survival norms.

I asked him who was more likely to feel an obligation to help him in a Katrina-like (short term) emergency or a Great Depression-like (long term) emergency: neighbors, strangers, a girlfriend's parents and family, a babymama's parents and family, or a wife's parents and family? He had no answer.

Another Negro wrote in to say that marriage made no difference, and I should stop referring to OOW children by the previous LEGAL term of "bastards." He said that marriage made no difference because (according to him) there are many "highly active" unmarried fathers. I asked him the following question: "How does a father physcially protect his children when he does not live with them?" He had no answer.

I am recounting this in some length to point out that I am NOT particularly "wise." It took ALL OF THIS to snap me out of the Black Nationalist trance that I was in! It took ALL OF THIS for me to comprehend that BM were NOT "all in it together" with BW and Black children. Lord have mercy.

Everybody that I've specifically mentioned earlier, as well as those readers and commenters who are too numerous to specifically list, have helped me greatly in my search for clarity.

I can't thank you all enough. THANK YOU!!!Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lisa99 said...

Khadija,

I don't post much, but I read all your posts and pass the info on to others.

I first learned of you at the Racial Realist blog and I remember that conversation well. I was already supportive of Evia's line of thinking of "marrying well," but when you said what you did about BW having a God-given right to marriage and family, that was yet another wake up call for me.

I remember too one of those BM on that board talking about how he waited 46 years before he found his BW wife, so "waiting" was worth it... yeah, like he couldn't find a BW worth marrying over his three decades of adulthood... and I bet his wife was very young. Yes, he could afford to "wait" and then start a family with a young BW, while I'm sure he ran through plenty of BW during his single days while he was "waiting" to find one to marry. SMH.

So your posts resonated with so many people, and I was thrilled to see that you started your own blog.

Aphrodite, we are also on the same page about marriage/family/children and how the black community/black church is absolutely clueless in its "message" to black women to wait.

And to everyone else who blogs, I thank all of you as well... I read all of you!

Khadija said...

{laughing}

I will note that the particular blog conversation that I described above had some long-reaching effects. Several conversation participants have gone on to launch their own blogs.

That particular conversation did a LOT to change my thinking about AA women's circumstances. That particular conversation also seems to have been the impetus for causing one "pro-Black love while being simultaneously anti-BW" Internet Ike Turner to start his own blog. {chuckling}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Lisa99!

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

The man that you're describing was the blog host's (then semi-undercover) boyfriend/fiance. They later got married. [Yes, I'm "telling!" LOL!]

At around the time of that conversation, this same man then went on to call himself challenging Evia to a "debate" at that blog without disclosing his personal connection to the blog host.[Yes, I'm "telling!"]

He made this challenge (and tried to involve PioneerValleyWoman in that mess) while posing as an unrelated audience member. Which I found to be shady and dishonest behavior. I was not pleased.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

I got into it with these males (including the blog host's now-husband) when I loudly proclaimed that BW have a GOD-GIVEN right to have the same opportunities for marriage, legitimate family lives, and husbands who are protectors and providers for them and they're children as every other race of women on this planet. And that if BW found themselves in circumstances where the only available choices for this was with non-Black men (such as the earlier-described BW's circumstances), so be it.

I didn't know that this (the idea that BW were entitled to marriage and family) was a controversial notion within self-proclaimed "Black love" circles. The blog host's now-husband was in denial that such circumstances as described by the reader existed. He insisted that any BW who had a positive attitude about BM would find her Black, shining prince.

One Negro wrote in to disparage the value of marriage, and asked what did marriage do for anybody. I mentioned that sometimes we get so sophisticated that we lose touch with basic human survival norms.

I asked him who was more likely to feel an obligation to help him in a Katrina-like (short term) emergency or a Great Depression-like (long term) emergency: neighbors, strangers, a girlfriend's parents and family, a babymama's parents and family, or a wife's parents and family? He had no answer.

Another Negro wrote in to say that marriage made no difference, and I should stop referring to OOW children by the previous LEGAL term of "bastards." He said that marriage made no difference because (according to him) there are many "highly active" unmarried fathers. I asked him the following question: "How does a father physcially protect his children when he does not live with them?" He had no answer.

My reply:

Thanks for the shout-out, and you're quite welcome. Wow, Khadija, you remember more about that conversation than I did.

I recalled the first aspect, the plight the black-nationalist type woman described, because I replied to her. The rest, I noticed, but I might not have replied because I was just...incredulous! Words couldn't describe the kinds of things you are explaining.

What marriage ever did for anyone, etc., etc.????

Just wow.

Thanks for bringing home the perils of certain aspects of black nationalist thought for black women.

I am so deeply, deeply troubled, as I have said time and time again, the way in which black nationalist women have to be silent about the gender disparaties in their black nationalist thought and the implications it has for their lives.

Tell black women that race only matters, and when gender is discussed, talk about it only from a male point of view (but don't say so, say it is only about race, not gender), and then tell them that gender from a woman's point of view is irrelevant, because race is all that matters.

Lots of "race women" got caught in that trap, and we can see it time and time again.

What else is behind the perspective these men have on marriage?

They can wait, because from a man's perspective, waiting is no problem with respect to having a family.

With respect to being anti-marriage, of course, there are women who fit into this category, but quite often they feel this way because of bad histories of marriage, not because they believe "marriage never did anything for anyone".

Happily married women (and men) who dated wisely and chose wisely before marrying their partners don't disparage marriage.

Men who disparage marriage do so quite often because they are afraid that marriage would take away their freedom, or because they want to get out of something easily, and can't do that with a marriage certificate, or they don't like/respect the women they sleep with or who bear their children, and thus they don't want the ties.

So this mindset is one black women should buy into? So they should buy a mindset put forth by men of their group who would tell them that their gender issues don't matter and they thus should not think about what is natural to women throughout the world, something which was natural to generations of black women and men before them, because a bunch of black men don't want to give up their gender-based privileges?

But again, the mindset tells black women that they are not like other women, ie., they are strong, etc., so they don't need what women have had traditionally, but we have always had Soujourner to remind us that we are very much women, like everyone else.

But too many of us remained blind to our own history that we let others deny us our perspectives, in the name of "unity." A hat off here to Rev. Lisa and her latest post.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

He made this challenge (and tried to involve PioneerValleyWoman in that mess) while posing as an unrelated audience member. Which I found to be shady and dishonest behavior. I was not pleased.

My reply:

Oh yes, he was making some point about Evia, but a post from my blog was central to the point he was making, acting as though what I said had something to do with what she was writing about.

And then he talked about his challenge, but made it so broad and unfocused, that it seemed like he was addressing me. But apparently, he was addressing Evia exclusively.

The irony is that Evia didn't even seem to have any awareness of this so-called challenge and the post!

I let them know real quick I was not playing any of that, and that was the end of it.

That blog post was the latest post there for the longest while. But many of the respondents to the posts seemed to be non-nationalist types who questioned the ideologies. After that, the blog went to invitation-only status.

C4L said...

I have been reading subsequent posts and I concur with all of them.

When I was a small child, I was waiting at the bus stop with my grandmother, it was cold and rainy. The pastor drove by in his Cadillac and waved. I asked why he did not stop to pick us up and my grandma said he is doing god's work and did not have time to stop.

I had a pretty logical mind back then and thought he won't be getting my nickle for the collection plate. I got off the "religion train".

My then husband (BM) physically hurt me, I left him the same night never to return. He was enraged that he could not control me any longer. My family (aunts and uncles, etc.) asked "what did I do to cause him to hurt me". I was never asked if I was okay. I even heard "well he's is a BM and it is difficult for them, you need to give him another chance". On that day, I got off the "black family is thicker than water train and the BM train at the same time".

The people who helped me when I was most in need were ironically white.

I learned to get on the train of trusting individuals based on their actions not on their words. I purposely did not say groups, I cannot trust a group.

I also learned that my life was the most important thing to me. I have been on that train ever since. LOL

I truly hope more of us get on this train with me. We have bright future if we do.

roslynholcomb said...

I first read your posts on the Racial Realist blogs as well. I don't think I ever posted there, but I read most of the threads. Years ago, a black man told me that if I wanted that 'white picket' fence stuff, then I needed to find a 'white boy,' because the 'brothas' weren't trying to hear that mess. I took that message to heart and kept it moving.

@Aphrodite, the specter of infertility is a haunting one. Even for women who don't want children, fibroids can be a debilitating condition that leave you unable to work or at times even leave the house. This is not about glorifying motherhood. There are plenty of women who are happily child-free and that is their choice. But, for me, who had always longed for a large family of my own, it was a horrifying struggle to go through. I've had a miscarriage, a stillbirth and a chemical pregnancy. Four pregnancies and I have only one healthy child. And I am grateful beyond measure for that one, for there are many who could not even have that many.

It angers me that the possibility of infertility is so blithely dismissed by those in our so-called community. For reasons I don't even begin to comprehend, we've bought into this notion of black women being 'Fertile Myrtles' who can produce children at the drop of a hat. Nothing is further from the truth. Fertility is fragile, and not to be taken for granted. It can fall prey to all manner of things in addition to fibroids. Many STDs are silent destroyer of fertility in women, and of course, we know that HPV is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer as well.

For those of us who want children, we cannot afford to sit around waiting for black men. It's much too much to ask of us, though of course, the black community has never hesitated to ask black women to go above and beyond, while requiring absolutely nothing of black men. It is crucial that we begin getting serious about 'dating with a purpose' early on. This is not about fun and games, it is about the preservation of our gene pools and our very lives.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

I remember large chunks of that conversation because it was SHOCKING to me. I was already stunned by the Dunbar Village Atrocity, and that conversation was the 2nd slap upside my head of a "1-2 punch" combination.

You said, "Thanks for bringing home the perils of certain aspects of black nationalist thought for black women.

I am so deeply, deeply troubled, as I have said time and time again, the way in which black nationalist women have to be silent about the gender disparaties in their black nationalist thought and the implications it has for their lives.

Tell black women that race only matters, and when gender is discussed, talk about it only from a male point of view (but don't say so, say it is only about race, not gender), and then tell them that gender from a woman's point of view is irrelevant, because race is all that matters.

Lots of "race women" got caught in that trap, and we can see it time and time again."
Yes, this is what "Black Nationalism," "Black love," and "Black Unity" have degenerated into. However, I have a slightly different perspective on what is the source of the now-problem with all of this. I still have a warm spot in my heart for these 3 things because they were originally about Black SELF-LOVE & SELF-RESPECT. All of which is sorely lacking among AAs as well as Black people in general.

From my point of view, the root of the problem is not with ideologies that originally promoted self-love and self-respect; the problem is with the FUNDAMENTALISM and GROUP THINK that crept into these ideologies. Which is the same unfortunate evolution that occurs with ideologies and religion in general.

I'm working on a blog post about this point, and also in response to Rev. Lisa's recent excellent essay about the eulogy for "Black Unity."

You said, "Men who disparage marriage do so quite often because they are afraid that marriage would take away their freedom, or because they want to get out of something easily, and can't do that with a marriage certificate, or they don't like/respect the women they sleep with or who bear their children, and thus they don't want the ties.

So this mindset is one black women should buy into? So they should buy a mindset put forth by men of their group who would tell them that their gender issues don't matter and they thus should not think about what is natural to women throughout the world, something which was natural to generations of black women and men before them, because a bunch of black men don't want to give up their gender-based privileges?

But again, the mindset tells black women that they are not like other women, ie., they are strong, etc., so they don't need what women have had traditionally, but we have always had Soujourner to remind us that we are very much women, like everyone else."
It's not just Black Nationalist males who run this scam; this type of scam is also popular in the Black mosque/church.
________________________

C4L,

I praise God that you made it out of that situation healthy and whole.

You said, "I learned to get on the train of trusting individuals based on their actions not on their words. I purposely did not say groups, I cannot trust a group. I also learned that my life was the most important thing to me. I have been on that train ever since. LOL I truly hope more of us get on this train with me. We have bright future if we do."PREACH!
___________________

Roslyn,

The Ruminations blog was one of first ones that I decided to de-lurk on. I'm happy that I started participating in these various conversations. They have made a HUGE postitive impact on my life!

You said, "For those of us who want children, we cannot afford to sit around waiting for black men. It's much too much to ask of us, though of course, the black community has never hesitated to ask black women to go above and beyond, while requiring absolutely nothing of black men. It is crucial that we begin getting serious about 'dating with a purpose' early on. This is not about fun and games, it is about the preservation of our gene pools and our very lives."That's the BOTTOM LINE to this issue. This is the reason why I strongly urge BW to STOP engaging in ridiculous conversations with hostile Negroes about this topic. It's time to MOVE ON from that and seek out what we want for our own lives.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JaliliMaster said...

I haven't yet read the comments yet, but I just wanted to say that this is probably one of my favourite of all the posts you've written. It sort of brings together alot of what has been said on various BW empowerment blogs. Thankyou very very much!

Southland Diva said...

Hello Khadija,

I used to think there was something wrong with me because I did not/do not identify with the 'acting black crew'. My inability to relate to this way of being in the world crystallized when the whole 'ghetto-fabulous' culture became popular. I never understood how glamorizing that kind of pathology was healthy or positive. A pimp as a role model? Really?

I thought maybe I was being a snob or something and I really wrestled with feeling like I was a traitor to 'my people'. This was not something I could articulate to anyone at the time as (1)I did not know how it would be recieved and (2)it was possible I just feeling superior(but not in a good way).

After much contemplation, I realized I felt alienated from the 'ghetto' culture because most or all of the culture did not reflect me, similar to the way 'drug' culture or 'biker' culture did not reflect me. I realized it was okay for me not to identify with 'ghetto' culutre and I could do so without feeling like a traitor.

I have since divorced the bc. If black men choose to create functional or dysfunctional paths with or without bw, that is their choice. I ain't mad because I ain't trying to rebuild, with black men's tools no less, Big Mama's house. I am walking a different path! A path where a black woman, any black woman, every black woman can be a soujourner for her own TRUTH!!

Peace and Blessings Khadija!! {throws a peace sign}

Khadija said...

*Emergency 1st Sojourner's Meeting Coming Soon*

Everybody: I'm working on a post that should be up tonight. It's an emergency meeting for Sojourners to discuss some things regarding the path that we need to be clear about from the very beginning.

I DON'T want this path to turn into a disaster like previous ones that AAs have walked such as integration and multiculturalism.

Peace and blessings,
Khadija

Southland Diva said...

Having read the rest of the posts, I will say this....Ouch!!! (recognition can be painful) I am in the 40 and over (lost generation) cohort; single, no children. I was not consciously waiting for a bm....but subconsciously I was! I thought if I worked on myself and improved myself spiritually, mentally, then men (quality black men---how many times over the years have I been told I am too picky!!) would notice me. They haven't. But you know what, these days I get more attention from non-black men.

One can find value, even in the wilderness. I may not have found THE ONE for me (yet) however, I did find someone just as important....ME!!

@Roslyn, you are blessed to have the one child trust me!!! Any ability for me to have children ended three years ago (oh the denial!!). Stress and fibroids go hand-in-hand.

I am not bitter or angry. I am awake! Yes, I wasted time, but not any longer. I am on my path. I've got my crown and I am moving on!

Peace and Empowerment

mekare said...

Great essay Khadijah. I look forward to moving to Phase II.

Khadija said...

Hello there, JaliliMaster!

Thank you for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it. This is the time when it all comes together!
______________________

Hello there, SouthlandDiva!

Hip Hop Crack House culture has nothing to do with African-American culture. It's a perversion of true AA culture. There's no reason for any healthy, SANE AA person to feel any connection to that madness.

Most AA women have wasted precious time while being confused. I'm also in the Lost Generations age cohort. I just thank God that I woke up before it was too late to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. I'm still freaked out by the fact that I know people who were my age who are now DEAD. AND they were desperately unhappy before they died. May God rest their souls.

Where there is life, there is time to "get it right!" *Smile* {peace sign thrown back at ya!}
_____________________

Hello there, Mekare!

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

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

I had to weigh in on the fibroid issues. I think because I'd read the stats I just accepted it as something we had to go through w/o connecting the stress/gender/bias/racism impact. I'm sad to say I ignored them for years until they became an issue. I have one doctor to thank for scaring me about the prospect of going under the knife so I put it off and I'm sure some of them nearly doubled in size because of that.

I'm very glad I had really great medical insurance at the time I decided to address this. I had an abdominal myomectomy nearly 4 yrs ago. I wanted to preserve my fertility so I chose that surgery instead of the other options. I'm glad I did because they found 2 more that the ultra sound didn't pick up. Let's just say I know I'd internalized a lot of rage and I do think there's a mind/body connection.

My surgery was successful it's just that I now have heavy periods which I find VERY annoying but...oh well. If I hadn't had the surgery I would not have been able to sustain a pregnancy to term. Still not sure I'm going to have any but I want to have all options available.

Anonymous said...

I just want to echo that you really should copyright this. I know that you have automatic copyright, but I mean do whatever you have to do to be sure that your words/intellectual properties are cited to you.

There are articles online about copyright and blogging, please read them. I am thinking of other bloggers of color, whose words have been taken, but not attributed to them.

Khadija said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your kind words and concern. I listened to you and the other readers and took the extra steps of having the essay (along with others) submitted to, and registered with, the U.S. Copyright Office, etc.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymiss said...

Brava, Khadija! This was excellent.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Anonymiss!

Thank you so much for your kind words about the essay. I truly appreciate it.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.