Monday, August 24, 2009

Please Join Me For A Round Of Geostrategy Nerd: "For The Love Of God, DON'T Send Your Daughters To Historically Black Colleges!"

I made the following comment while responding to a reader during a recent blog post:

"Karen,

You said, "I hope that I am wrong, but I do not think very many will make it out....Based on your experienced observations, many are already lost."

{Khadija dipping into Ebonics} They gone. They LONG gone.

You said, "As many states have their prison data online, I did a random checks of the race of prisoners listed in any particular prison. 7 to 8 out of 10 were AA (male or female, it did not matter) . . . . AA women that continue to associate with this fringe and all its various permutations are lost."

Exactly. And the disturbing thing is that this "element" and it's "fringe" are OBVIOUS hazards to BW's survival. There are some other, more subtle DEATHTRAPS that I'm doing research on right now. I'll explain in detail during the post I plan to have up for the beginning of September, but I'll say the basic warning here and now:

For the love of God, DON'T send your daughters to historically Black colleges and universities! Especially Howard University in Washington, DC. These HBCUs are emerging DEATHTRAPS! As in literal deathtraps. Some of you will probably guess what specific phenomenon is causing me to say this, but I'll leave all of that for September."

I was going to leave this topic until I had finished researching and writing the post by the first week in September, but I've changed my mind.

It just occurred to me that this is an excellent opportunity for audience members to do the mental exercise of playing "geostrategy nerd" regarding something that is of the utmost importance: our children's safety. Prior to the most recent Geostrategy Nerd post, I had been talking "at" you about what I see as emerging trends.

Let's do something different this time. This time, I'm inviting you to do the research WITH me about an issue. Let's reason together, and work through the details of my concerns TOGETHER, at the same time. [I'll add links to relevant articles, etc. as the conversation progresses. On second thought, I'll leave those citations in the comments section---it's worth the time to read through this conversation.]

But, first, you have to guess what my specific concern is about Black female students attending HBCUs in this modern era! *Smile*

***To anyone that I've already disclosed my specific concern to, please don't submit a comment identifying or discussing my concern unless and until another audience member figures it out. I want folks to have the experience for themselves of working through these sorts of issues.***

So far, people have mentioned the purely social dynamics that are problematic at historically Black colleges and universities. The emotional difficulties caused by these negative social dynamics are serious, but they're not what's most dangerous about these campuses for young African-American women.

I submit to you that these same, negative social dynamics have literally life-threatening repercussions. Repercussions that have already begun to emerge at several historically Black colleges. These repercussions were in the news about 5 years ago; however I've never heard anyone "connect the dots" or sound the alarm about this particular topic in a LOUD voice.

Here are 3 (somewhat) interlocking hints:

1-In what way can we say that Washington, D.C. (where Howard University is located) has replaced San Francisco?

2-Historically Black colleges; and

3-The gender imbalances at HBCUs. According to Understanding Gender at Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities: A Special Report of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Inc., "Females are a majority (63%) of the total number of students enrolled at the 45 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities. . . " pg. 10. http://www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org/downloads/2006_gender_study.pdf

What's the emerging, life-threatening problem at these schools that nobody's really talking about? A problem that will only get worse, using our previous collective behavior as a roadmap?

106 comments:

Miss Marche said...

Hi Khadija!

Are you talking about the AIDS epidemic affecting black women, particularly in Washington, DC?

I'm a Howard grad and I still live in the city, and I wondered if this was your concern when you specifically mentioned Howard in your comments on the last post.

I have to admit, it hurt my heart -- despite the many negative perceptions about HBCUs, I remain very proud of my Howard education. The experience and faculty set me up for success in my current field (broadcast journalism) and my closest, most fulfilling friendships were established there.

I will agree it is not a conducive environment for establishing relationships. Many women (including me) end up dating men from the local area rather than men from campus -- and THAT comes with a whole 'nother set of issues.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Miss Marche!

You're our grand winner who got a hole in one!

{deep martial arts bow in salute}

Yes, the unchecked spread of HIV/AIDs at HBCUs is EXACTLY the problem I was talking about!

Here's the equation:

Gender imbalance that favors BM students at HBCUs---

+ the resulting increased amounts of mansharing by BF students on these campuses

+ Washington, DC replacing San Francisco as an HIV/AIDs capital (so dating BM from off-campus in DC is also HIGH-risk given the epidemic conditions there)

+ the inherent homophobia of the AA community, particularly the Black South where the bulk of these HBCUs are located

+ the resulting increased closeted, "down low" behaviors by a percentage of BM students who might feel freer to self-identify as gay/bisexual if they weren't at HBCUs

+ a spike in HIV infection rates among Black students that was briefly reported on in 2004

+ fewer "degrees of social separation" between AA college students/graduates and HIV+ jailbirds and drug addicts

= HBCUs becoming HIV/AIDS magnets and centers!


I won't add links to news stories to this post just yet. I'll let folks think for a moment before they get to the answer here in the comments section.

But here's a news story from 2004 that folks can start with:

Black colleges seek to stem HIV cases

Stepping up safe-sex education after spike in infections


The Associated Press
updated 2:23 p.m. CT, Mon., March. 22, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Many historically black colleges are stepping up safe-sex education in response to health researchers’’ finding of a spike in HIV infection rates among black students more than 20 years into the AIDS epidemic.

Experts attribute the rise to a potent mixture of recklessness, homophobia, lack of information and denial —— and colleges are increasingly looking to honest talk by students like Jonathan Perry as part of the solution.
““It’’s affecting the future,”” says Perry, who is openly gay and HIV positive. He speaks at campus forums on the issue, including a ““Stomp Out HIV/STDs”” conference this weekend sponsored by North Carolina’’s 12 minority-serving schools and the state Division of Public Health.

Khadija said...

Part 2 (continuing the news story)

Perry, a senior at historically black Johnson C. Smith University, understands how the infection may spread rapidly: Despite common knowledge of his own HIV-positive status, he says, men claiming to be heterosexual have sought to have unprotected sex with him.

““They feel like they’’re being robbed, they’’re being stripped of their masculinity”” if they acknowledge that they’’re not purely heterosexual, Perry says.
More HIV infections than expected
North Carolina researchers found 84 newly infected male college students over the past three years, 73 of them black —— representing 20 percent of the state’’s new HIV infections among 18- to 30-year-olds.

The study found HIV infection among male college students jumping from six cases in 2000 to 30 in 2003. Although the numbers are small they are worrisome because they are higher than expected.

The cases were linked to 37 North Carolina colleges; up to a dozen additional cases involving partners of the North Carolina students were found at schools in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

This was the first documented outbreak of HIV on U.S. college campuses. The increase was first noticed in late 2002, and officials now believe it began in mid-2001 and is continuing.

The high rate of HIV infection among U.S. blacks has been one of the most striking difficulties of AIDS prevention. Making up 12 percent of the population, blacks account for 39 percent of AIDS cases and 54 percent of new HIV infections. Among black men, like whites, the leading cause of infection is sex with other men.
In the North Carolina study, 67 of the 84 HIV cases involved black men who have sex with other men, but don’’t identify themselves as either gay or bisexual. Of those, 27 said they also had sex with women.

““And more importantly, they don’’t consider themselves to be at risk for HIV,”” says Dr. David Jolly, an assistant professor of health education at North Carolina Central University. He added: ““We’’re not getting the message to these guys in an effective way.””

Khadija said...

Part 3 (continuing the story)

Jolly and others wonder whether there is a cultural element to this outbreak. Many point to a 2002 incident at Atlanta’’s Morehouse College, in which a student attacked another with a baseball bat for allegedly staring at him in the shower, as evidence of anti-gay sentiment in the black community.

““We know that it’’s very hard for young, gay men —— period,”” says Jolly. ““But it’’s particularly hard for young, gay men of color to be out and be comfortable being out, being public about who they are. So it’’s not terribly surprising to me that a lot of these guys do not identify as gay or bisexual. It’’s not a very safe and accepting environment for many of these guys.””

Erin Bradley, a junior at Atlanta’’s all-female Spelman College, says that creates a dangerous atmosphere for women because they have no idea that their boyfriends could also be having sex with men.

““Within the black community, homosexuality is not something that is welcomed or even spoken about in general,”” says Bradley, who says she practices abstinence. ““It’’s not seen necessarily as a problem. Or if it is a problem, it’’s real hush-hush.””

Dr. Peter Leone, the lead researcher on the North Carolina study, says this outbreak has implications beyond college campuses in the South. He said there could be ““a resurgence of HIV in young, black men. So it’’s really a wake-up call.””

Leone, HIV medical director at the state health department, says the federal government isn’’t doing enough to study the phenomenon or halt its progression. The region’’s black institutions are stepping in.

'This is your life'
The Morehouse School of Medicine has held HIV education sessions with black women in the Atlanta area and intends to do the same with black men. At nearby Spelman, incoming students get HIV education with their orientation from Bradley and about 40 other specially trained students who belong to SHAPE —— Student Health Associates and Peer Educators.
““We try to teach everyone to just protect yourselves,”” the Columbus, Ohio, native says. ““Because you can ask, and they can lie. ... We focus on, ‘‘This is your life.””’’

In North Carolina, Project Commit to Prevent was established to educate students at the minority-serving schools about the risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Khadija said...

Part 4 (continuing the news story)

Students across the state have taken part in ““safer sex parties”” —— where they eat pizza while they learn how to properly put on a condom and play games such as STD Bingo.

““Some people don’’t like the name, but they’’re really educational parties,”” says Lorna Harris, Commit to Prevent coordinator at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.

Harris says many college freshmen, particularly blacks from conservative church congregations, are coming from backgrounds where they were taught only abstinence. They may not even know about condoms.

Johnson C. Smith University distributed 325 ““safer sex packages”” on Valentine’’s Day. They included two condoms, lubricant, pamphlets on HIV/AIDS —— and a lollipop.
Campus counseling coordinator Maya Gibbons says attitudes at the 1,500-student school have changed in light of the study. HIV 101 is now part of freshman orientation
Perry has noticed changes, too.

AIDS ravaging black communities
When he first arrived in the fall of 2000 after a two-year stint in the Air Force, being openly gay made him a target for harassment. Things started to change after 2001, when he learned he’’d been infected with HIV.

In April 2002, he revealed his status during a campus forum. The following day, his dorm’’s resident adviser told him the guys had had a meeting and declared their support: ““We want to give you props.””

Walking along the 137-year-old campus’’ magnolia- and crepe myrtle-lined footpaths, the lanky, 6-foot-2 man is greeted warmly by students and faculty. Several times a month, he says, students drop by his dorm room for a fistful of the red-, orange-, black-and blue-wrapped university-issued condoms he keeps in a drawstring sack he calls his ““glad bag.””

Perry, who is doing his senior thesis on homophobia and gays in the black church, says men have confided in him that they have been having unprotected sex and haven’’t informed their female partners.

Whether those people are confused or just lying to themselves, he tells them they owe it to their partners to be honest.
““Maya Angelou said, ‘‘When you know better, you do better,””’’ Perry says.

““The way HIV-AIDS is ravaging, raping and pillaging black communities, I don’’t understand why they don’’t do better.””
_________________

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

zindzhi said...

these are really scary news story. Homophobia , Trans-phobia, sexism religious bigotry and sexual abuse is conspiring to the spread of the disease. I was shocked to learn that more Blacks in America are infected than people in Haiti. What can be done about this? Especially knowing that black women are the fastest growing group of infected in The US. Also what do we do knowing of the predators are abusing young girls in the community and possibly spreading the disease?

College is supposed to be about learning and finding oneself. I can't even began to comprehend this. It's mind boggling.

Peace

Karen said...

I did not win the prize as I truly was not thinking in that direction even having attended an HBCU (many moons ago).

HOWEVER, what surprises me until this day is how we as women can continue to have unprotected sex???

During my college/single days, even though I was on the pill, a man still had to wear a condom. I put it bluntly, I do not want to have sex with everybody that you have had sex with (i.e. no STDs), and I don't want to become pregnant (the pill is also not foolproof).

It is just common sense and it appears to be all too lacking among us women.

We have got to step it up. It may be crude but it is still appropriate, "no glove, no love" - PERIOD.

I have other reasons to avoid an HBCU but as the focus is on AIDS/HIV, that is reason enough...

Evia said...

Khadija, I think that one of the VERY best things that AA women can do for themselves, their daughters and other bw they love or even remotely care about THIS MORNING is to rise up in support of gay bm. I've been thinking like this for all of my adult life and I've never allowed anyone in my inner circle of friends, associates, family, etc. to do any gay-bashing--at least not around me.

I believe that homosexuals have the RIGHT to be who they are. Why should they have to suppress who they are in order to make heterosexuals happy?

It didn't take the DL phenomenon to make me see that supporting the rights of homosexuals is not just logical, but it's necessary. IMO, it's the "right" thing to do. However, since so many AAs live their lives in the perpetual magical thinking zone, this has now become yet another LIFE and DEATH situation for unsuspecting AA women.

(Sigh) I've become so TIRED of all of these ***NON-issues***. If AA women can't or won't deal intelligently with non-issues, then how can they deal with REAL issues?

I wholeheartedly support the right of homosexuals (men and women) to be who they are and MARRY who they want, and etc. DUH!

And for all of the homophobic folks and others spouting the supposed "evils" of gay bm doing sodomy and yadda yadda, I've got news for them, there're a heck of a lot of supposedly 100% heterosexual men who try with all of their might to do SODOMY on plenty of heterosexual women!!! I would advise any woman: Do NOT turn your back--LOL!--on any fire-breathing homophobic heterosexual man!

IMO, supporting a man's right to be a homosexual if he chooses, does NOT create more homosexuals, as I've heard so many fear-mongering people (of all groups and both genders) say all of my life. I'll just never believe that. I believe that a person either has homosexual desires or they don't. Trying to shame him/her and forcing them to sneak around doesn't make those desires go away. I would only insist that they handle their sexuality in a responsible way, and deal with the consequences, which is something that a LOT of heterosexual men do NOT do. Why don't these same homophobes foam at the mouth equally about all the harm inflicted on women and children by heterosexual men???

I would think that ALL women would support gay men to be who they are because why would any woman even be remotely interested in any man who would prefer to be with a man or who's even a bi-sexual man (especially these days)???

But once again, maybe there's something I don't understand about this non-issue. I have listened to discussions about homosexuality for years now, in the hopes that I can hear a rational reason for why people are homophobic, and I haven't heard anything rational, YET.

Khadija said...

Miss Marche,

You said, "I will agree it is not a conducive environment for establishing relationships. Many women (including me) end up dating men from the local area rather than men from campus -- and THAT comes with a whole 'nother set of issues."

This situation at the HBCUs also has the side effect of SIGNIFICANTLY reducing a BF student's odds of positioning herself to get a "MRS." degree just before or just after graduation (which is what so many WW and AW do).

A female college student's male PEERS and most of the relevant social life is on campus. In addition to the disease-ridden social network angle, why send one's daughter to schools where the odds are AGAINST her being able to get decent dates, much less make serious strides toward her MRS. degree?

The situation on these HBCUs is totally destructive of a young BW's opportunities to position herself meet and MARRY a QUALITY man. Why go there?

_______________________

Zindzhi,

You said, "What can be done about this?"

The first step is to REMOVE oneself from these disease-ridden social networks. And place oneself in healthier surroundings.

You said, "College is supposed to be about learning and finding oneself."

Yes, that's one of things it's supposed to be about. Instead, the conditions on these HBCUs are setting the BF students up for many different kinds of suffering.

You said, "I can't even began to comprehend this. It's mind boggling."

It boggles my mind that our so-called "thinkers" and public intellectuals aren't talking about this. I should know better than to expect them to focus on what's really important.
______________________

Karen,

As you noted, there are other reasons to avoid HBCUs. But I'm focused on the life and death aspect of why BW should STAY AWAY from HBCUs.

You said, "HOWEVER, what surprises me until this day is how we as women can continue to have unprotected sex???

During my college/single days, even though I was on the pill, a man still had to wear a condom. I put it bluntly, I do not want to have sex with everybody that you have had sex with (i.e. no STDs), and I don't want to become pregnant (the pill is also not foolproof)."


I had the same attitude and behavior in college---I also wanted to confirm that any prospective partner had a portion of some abortion money. [Not that I would depend on him paying for an abortion if it came to that---God bless the child that's got their OWN.] But, moreso to properly draw the guy's attention to MY priorities with the situation.

But modern AA young women are worse off than we were. In MANY ways. They are in a much weaker position relative to BM students when it comes to matters of dating---that is, as long as they stick to "nuthin' but a BM" thinking.

The circumstances in which current day, indoctrinated young BW live out the "nuthin' but a BM" programming is a thousand times worse than what it was when we were their age. And the modern consequences of this programming are a thousand times worse.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Khadija, by saying this is a "non-issue," I didn't mean at all that you shouldn't bring up the issue. Obviously it's a critical issue for so many AA women. I 100% support shining the light on yet another predator that takes a lot of bw's lives.

AA women must THINK critically about ***everything** and not allow ANYONE to spoonfeed them ignorance--because ignorance is a KILLER.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "I would advise any woman: Do NOT turn your back--LOL!--on any fire-breathing homophobic heterosexual man!"

{loud gales of laughter}

I agree! LOL! I also think that some of these male, fire-breathing anti-gay bigots "doth protest too much"---I start to wonder if they are struggling with their own sexuality and/or sexual orientation.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

KM said...

Honestly, the same problem is going on at PWIs (I attended one), its just greater at HBCUs. I went to a BCS football school and the percentage of black students was close to 5% of the total student population and the female/male ratio was 60-40. (Mind you, the overall female/male ratio was 46-54 in favor of men.)

So, if you wanted to date in the BC (which I didn't because even though I didn't know of the BWE blogs back then, I DID know who was asking me out on real dates (WM) and I chose that over being asked out to hook up (BM)), and once you took out the out gay men, there were 3 women to 1 man. Then the men who were already dating out, that reduced the number to 4 to 1.

So women were competing to see who could do splits, hang on the ceiling fan, anything to keep a black man. People who would tell me that they wouldn't ever have sex w/o a condom but then would be pregnant within months b/c they didn't insist on one b/c they wanted to keep their man. Threesomes, getting trains ran on, etc. only to get that HIV test and show up HIV+. Knowing full well who were on the DL but still having sex with them. Then even though it was a rural school, there was still a remnant of the Black criminal element that managed to find their way up there (only to get arrested sooner rather than later b/c the police up there didn't play) and some BW got entangled with them.

BW are playing Russian Roulette with their sexual lives and their health (physical and mental). If any of you have female daughters about to go to college, PLEASE educate them because no matter where you go now, its real and these dangers are out there. And I'm doing my part by talking with the young ladies I know from church and at work about what is going on. Knowledge is power.

Karen said...

Khadija,

It is very scary the situation today. I contacted you directly concerning other themes with regards to HBCUs, but this life threatening issue must remain at the forefront.

It is truly a matter of life and death. How many will die before the BW women collective wake up? The epidemic is already here. As there is no cure for the disease, avoidance is the only method to be applied.

I see nothing which gives any indication that HBCU's will collectively address this issue therefore we need to ensure that our daughters, sisters, cousins, etc. do not attend these places.

LaJane Galt said...

Not surprised. In fact, it makes sense. I say this as a Southerner, DC resident and an HBCU grad.

LaJane Galt said...

Sorry for the double post.

Evia, Khadija ~ I am with you on your condemnation of homophobia. Frankly, homophobes are automatically SUSPECT[!] as far as I'm concerned.

Khadija said...

KM,

You said, "Honestly, the same problem is going on at PWIs (I attended one), its just greater at HBCUs."

This is true. Here's the SIGNIFICANT difference between the 2 scenarios: On HBCUs, BF students are marooned with no real dating alternatives other than the BM students that they outnumber. Meanwhile, at PWI there ARE literally thousands of other men to choose from---there ARE alternatives---that is, if these young women would simply drop the "nuthin' but a BM" programming.

You said, "and once you took out the out gay men, there were 3 women to 1 man. Then the men who were already dating out, that reduced the number to 4 to 1.

So women were competing to see who could do splits, hang on the ceiling fan, anything to keep a black man. People who would tell me that they wouldn't ever have sex w/o a condom but then would be pregnant within months b/c they didn't insist on one b/c they wanted to keep their man. Threesomes, getting trains ran on, etc. only to get that HIV test and show up HIV+. Knowing full well who were on the DL but still having sex with them."


This is what "nuthin' but a BM" ultimately leads to for AA women.

You said, "BW are playing Russian Roulette with their sexual lives and their health (physical and mental). If any of you have female daughters about to go to college, PLEASE educate them because no matter where you go now, its real and these dangers are out there."

Yes. And these risks are GREATLY INCREASED at HBCUs due to the "nuthin' but a BM"-desperation dynamics that you described in detail.
________________________

Karen,

I'll get back to you later today. [I try to deal with the blog's "front page" first. LOL!]

You said, "It is truly a matter of life and death. How many will die before the BW women collective wake up? The epidemic is already here. As there is no cure for the disease, avoidance is the only method to be applied.

I see nothing which gives any indication that HBCU's will collectively address this issue therefore we need to ensure that our daughters, sisters, cousins, etc. do not attend these places.
(emphasis added)

Yes, we must keep our young women OUT of these places; and OUT of these diseased social networks.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

LaJane Galt,

No problem. You said, "Frankly, homophobes are automatically SUSPECT[!] as far as I'm concerned."

Yep, I feel the same way.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

HIV/AIDS is the #1 killer of black women 25-49.
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/resources/factsheets/aa.htm


1. I think the E. Lynn Harris book Invisible Life should be required reading.

2. I learned the hard way it was best to have a gay male friend check out any man I was interested in to eliminate the virulent anti-gay ones but also to check for latent tendencies

3. One of the hot guys who was dating lots and lots of women in our twenties (he wasn't black though) eventually did come out. I give the side eye to any guy who feels this urge to gorge himself indiscriminately as being a potential "closet case". Or at the very least misogynistic.

4. Yes if more people in the "black community" felt free to be themselves and saw the big picture we could avoid a lot of these situations.

Whether it's DL behavior, wanting to rebel, perpetual criminality, nothin' but a black man, thinking of yourself in terms of race first not gender or as an individual, settling for baby momma/man sharing status or living in fear: the bottom line is nobody is going to care about you - but you.

roslynholcomb said...

I lost all respect for Samuel L. Jackson when it was widely reported that he sent his daughter to Spelman because she'd started dating white guys. Frankly, I live in Atlanta, and I wouldn't send my daughter to this cesspool for anything on this earth. I hope Jackson isn't this stupid, but I'm guessing he is.

Felicia said...

This perverse (especially considering the current mental state of most BM and physical state of large segments of the so called "bc") "nothing but a bm" mindset - that is a direct result of the indoctrination that most AA BW have received - is a precursor to STD diseases (including AIDS), and an early death.

Below is a MUST read article unfortunately filled with LIES about the numbers of good, healthy, non-incarcerated, marriageable and marriage minded men currently available to BW.

THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF GOOD MEN AVAILABLE TO BLACK WOMEN. When these black so-called "experts" are referring to men, they are being dishonest. They're simply referring to AA black men. The minority. MOST men are NOT AA. And MOST men are still interested in marriage and being fathers to their children.

What these doomsday sayers report ONLY holds true IF BW continue to stick with BM. An increasingly non marriageable, incarcerated, and growingly diseased population. Did I say all? NO. BUT, I did say INCREASINGLY.

The Devil is in the details. These folks reporting on how "bad it is" for BW ALWAYS leave out the fact that it's ONLY bad for the "nothing but a bm" types.

Those BW who judge men based on character and whether or not they're husband and father material (regardless of the man's "race") have the SAME high chances as white, Asian, Hispanic, etc... women in finding a mate.

And they have lower rates of AIDS too.

BW have the highest rates of AIDS because they're sexually involved with men that have a higher rate of AIDS. Black Jailbirds, the highly promiscuous due to the practice of "man sharing" (SMH), the DL types, etc...

A messed up population to begin with.

OK I"m off my soapbox. Everyone who cares about the health of BW should read this and pass it along.

And please ya'll, break it down in simple terms to those BW you care about who STILL can't put two and two together.

AIDS Fears Grow for Black Women

http://justgarciahill.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=230:aids-fears-grow-for-black-women&catid=21:winter2004-vol-1-no-1

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I'm glad to see you post this, Khadija, with the new school year starting and parents beginning to think about college plans for their children who are juniors and seniors in high school.

This reminds me of a post I did last year on the black student organizations found in many college campuses.

I have decided to do a new post on the same topic, but updated to reflect this year's assessment.

The issues you raise don't relate exclusively to HBCUs, but as I have said elsewhere, they also relate to the Black Student Organizations and African Americna Studies programs at majority white campuses.

I would add, young black women should stay away, or at least, don't emphasize too much, the black student organizations as their only source of social outlet. They already outnumber the men, so they are already in a mindset to think in terms of lack. Beyond that, the black student organizations often have links to the African American Studies program, where the baby nationalist type black men get the doctrine with which to control black women into being black community (as defined by black men) identified, that they should be "race women" dedicated to uplifting black men, etc., etc.

Qshukura said...

Hello Khadija, I've been reading your blog for about a week now, and I must say to you, Lisa, Evia, and all, that I am so happy to know that I'm not the one who is crazy!


The anti-gay rants are an instant conversation closer. I've also noticed along with the rampant homophobic rants, there is some sort of addiction/abuse. Hmmm, someone doesn't want to deal with their reality.

Felicia said...

PVW also makes strong points against young BW getting mixed up with black student organizations...

http://episcopalienne.blogspot.com/

"Khadija posted in reply then, and she posted again recently, that black parents need to have their daughters stay away from the HBCUs. I would add, they should stay away, or at least, don't emphasize too much, the black student organizations as their only source of social outlet. They already outnumber the men, so they are already in a mindset to think in terms of lack. Beyond that, the black student organizations often have links to the African American Studies program, where the baby nationalist type black men get the doctrine with which to control black women into being black community (as defined by black men) identified, that they should be "race women" dedicated to uplifting black men, etc., etc.

Once again, as an academic, I would urge young black women to think very carefully about how they socialize during the course of their school years in college and beyond."


RIGHT ON. This "black nationalist" talk is some mess and a TRAP.

The BM spouting it are the LEAST likely to believe in it OR practice what they preach.

The so-called "community" and what becomes of it, shouldn't be on ANY BW's list of concerns.

Because we're not God. "We Didn't Start The Fire" like Billy Joel sang in the 80's.

And it's NOT our responsibility as BW to "fix" a d*mn thing.

BW need to think INDIVIDUALLY instead of being group focused. Concentrate on getting OUT of this "community" mindset. Physically and emotionally.

Khadija said...

Faith,

Thanks for the research. From my perspective, yes---the BM closeted, "down low" individuals, the BM jailbirds, and the BM dope fiends ARE a large part of the spread of HIV/AIDS among AA women.

However, I feel that the BIGGER part of the reason for the mass infection of AA women is the fact that so many AA women feel desperate, and therefore feel powerless to make sexually responsbile choices to protect their own lives. The "nuthin' but a BM" mindset is the source of this desperation.

Here's the beginning part of the article that Felicia gives the link to during her comment below:

"AIDS Fears Grow for Black Women

"A high prevalence of infection in the pool of potential partners can spread sexually transmitted infections rapidly within the ethnic group and keep it there," said Dr. Adaora A. Adimora, an infectious disease physician and associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

She and others cite several other factors. Perhaps the most vexing may be the shortage of black men as potential partners. This gender gap, experts say, may lead black women to make unsafe sexual decisions and raise their risk of infection.

"Large numbers of black men are in prison, or unemployed, or dead, so there is simply a smaller pool of available partners to choose from," said Dr. Gail E. Wyatt, a psychiatry professor and an associate director of the University of California, Los Angeles, AIDS Institute.

"So while women are quite concerned about being infected with H.I.V., the threat of death is not enough to persuade black women to protect themselves if it means being alone, childless and with less income."

As Felicia stresses, the quick answer to this is for AA women to expand their dating and marriage pool to include non-Black and non-AA men. I wonder why it is that the Black "talking heads" NEVER mention this obvious solution when they discuss this issue?

Khadija said...

Part 2

Roslyn,

I think that a lot of AA parents are simply naive and clueless. They haven't paid attention to the DRASTIC change in circumstances within all-AA dating/social circles. Many of them are assuming that things are the way they were "back in the day."

It hasn't occurred to them that all-Black social circles have become toxic cesspools where desperate BW are "...competing to see who could do splits, hang on the ceiling fan, anything to keep a black man" as KM described.

These parents haven't made the mental connection between extremely skewed numbers in terms of gender imbalance and the exploitation of women that this leads to (for those BW who stay within these numerically skewed all-AA social settings).
_________________________

Felicia,

Thanks for the research. You consistently "bring it"!
__________________________

PioneerValleyWoman,

Yes, the dynamics of this entrapment are the same. It's just that these young women really are physically marooned with only a handful of BM students on HBCUs. When BF students have to go off campus for their dating needs (as described by an earlier commenter), I consider that being marooned.

Having a pool of VIABLE, potential spouses at hand is one the benefits of college life. If you have to go off campus to have this need met, then I feel you shouldn't attend that school.

On the White campuses, young AA women students' entrapment is MENTAL and self-imposed. There are literally thousands of non-Black, non-AA men physically around on these campuses to date and marry. It's the chains on these young AA women students' minds that is causing their suffering.
_________________________

Qshukura,

I'm also sick of the anti-gay rants from AAs. I find these rants especially crazy coming from a people who have a majority bastard child rate.
___________________________

Anonymous Commenter Whose Comment Contained A Link to A MySpace Page Advocating Polygamy,

I rejected your comment because I don't give links and (therefore publicity) to certain types of crazy, sexist, or racist sites. This includes under the guise of criticizing such madness. Folks will have to find their own way to certain types of poison---I won't point the way.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Dee said...

Thank you, Khadija, for continuing to bring these important, LIFE SAVING topics to the forefront.

I am showing this post to a few of my loved ones.

All of this is so heavy but it's better to be informed.

Alienati0n said...

Khadija,

This is a great essay, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said about HBC's. Luckily, my mother communicated quite clearly that going to an HBC would give several problematic assumptions when looking for employment. Here's the rundown:

1. A lot of HBC's are synonomous with party schools and therefore have far less credibility than a "real education".

2. It looks as though you cannot handle diversity in the workforce, especially when going from a black neighborhood to an HBC.

3. Blacks are not taken (in general) as a seriously when we CHOOSE to self-segregate.


I'm not saying that this logic is correct, or "right", but it does put things in perspective. The purpose of college is to increase class mobility for the most part so why take the chance with an HBC? If you're planning to work for the NAACP, it's fine. But most of us will be working around mostly whites. We need to learn to *deal* with whites, the earlier the better.

Black college men at HBC's are *literally* in heaven. Every woman around them, they own outright. At my 9% black school where black women made up the majority of that percentage, black women were competing for the very few black men on campus. But a black woman who was not into this warped "finding my IBM husband in college" mentality most certainly had less competition for other groups of men. I've heard that HBC's also have a representation of being a *mild* step up from community college.

It worries me to think of all the naive black college bound girls who will be headed off to an HBC this month under the mistaken impression that they will "meet their black prince". It especially hurts to know that many of them that fail the "brown paper bag test" do not know fully what they are getting themselves into. I also have a feeling that many of the black male professors at HBC's are using "Black history classes" as a forum to indoctrinate these freshman girls about their "place" in the community and that their destiny is tied with rope to black men as it was in history.

Thanks so much for this enlightening piece! :-)

A-i0n

Khadija said...

Dee,

You're welcome! I find it extremely disturbing and infuriating that our so-called "thinkers" and "public intellectuals" aren't talking about this. I know, I know...I really should know better by now than to expect that.
_________________________

Alienati0n,

You're welcome!

As you mentioned, there are other perceived negatives attached to HBCUs. I've known several HBCU grads who get quite emotional defending their schools from these sorts of perceptions.

But I'm not talking about perceptions. This is literally LIFE and DEATH. Even if a BF student manages to protect herself from infection, she has still damaged her life prospects by going to a HBCU. Any BW who attends a HBCU is SIGNIFICANTLY reducing her personal odds of being in line for a MRS. degree by around graduation time.

More of us need to get serious when evaluating what attending a HBCU would do for our daughters', nieces', female cousins' life opportunities. We need to acknowledge that these schools are NOT the same way they were back in the day when many of our parents met, courted and married each other from these places. HBCUs are now places where BF students are subjected to "Freaknic" expectations.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

OK. I haven't done any research yet. But, even from the beginning of your article, I thought (was wondering if) you were referring to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the "down-low" lifestyle of many black males today. [I just read the first line of your response to Miss Marche.] But, does the DL lifestyle have something to do with it as well?

Anonymous said...

Firstly, we live in a global society and bw cannot afford to be closed off or segregated to a mostly blk university.

Secondly, if educated bm are not marrrying bw then who are they marrying? And, what about gay or bi-sexual men?

Thirdly, bw need to be more open minded. Get out of your safety zone and explore other cultures. People are more alike than not. We are living in a global economy. It is not just the U.S. economy it is the world's economy. What happens in China, India, Africa does have an effect on our economy.

Ann

Anonymous said...

I work at an HBC and the majority of the faculty and administers do not send their children to our school or probably not any other HBC. Hmmm, now what do they know that the rest of us do not know?
As my supervisor says, "My children do not need the HBC we are working at." However, she will keep the pay checks.

Anonymous said...

@ Alienation...LSU is known as a party school. But, no one complaints.

Anonymous said...

@ Khadija...I just read your reply about HIV/AIDS after I posted my comments.

I agree with you. Too many of our young people still do not take HIV/AIDS seriously enough. Some may think this disease is a joke are someone else will get it and not me.
My grandmother used to tell me, "A hard head makes a soft behind" and it is so unfortunate that so many young people will pay a high price for being "hard headed" or simply not listenig to sound advice.

Anonymous said...

Hello Khadija,

I am the anon commenter from before. It's fine that you didn't post the link. I just thought that maybe some of your readers would have found the blog to be informative in terms of reading the opposing messages (lies) being peddled to Black women.

Now back to the topic: I agree with everything that has been stated so far as to why Black women shouldn't go to HBCU's. Another reason why BW should avoid them, is because I feel we can gain and form networks with others from diverse backgrounds by attending mainstream schools.

For example, if I want to reach the top of the ladder in the corporate world, does it make sense to only associate or deal with other Black people? How many BW at the top of their ranks (eg. Oprah, Ursula Burns) were exclusively supported by Blacks?

If we are going to be excellent and dominant, then we need to surround ourselves with non-Black people who we can form alliances with in order to reach our goals imo.

I feel that university is a crucial time for forming our professional ties and setting the gameplan in motion.

zindzhi said...

@PioneerValleyWoman It is funny that you should mention the black student org on campus. I remember when I went to school in the State not wanting to join because I had nothing in common with them in High school not even when I got to college. usually I joined the international student organization, because I was an immigrant in America just like those kids. There I got to know some of my best friends. Another thing that really pissed the foreign black student was that even in college some of the kids would push the Act black thing on Us and questioned our blackness. We stop speaking to those kids fast. It was an enriching experience for me , because I got to meet people from all over , people as far as Nepal. When I graduated High school one of my best friend who is African American asked me why did i not want to go to a HBCU. I told him I thought that was a crazy idea having lived in all black country.I wasn't looking or longing to be in a black community. I wanted to meet people from all over the world and I did. Also I dated men from different countries and was never told by my parent not to. Plus Having lived in all black country I know for a fact that just because someone share your skin color does not automatically make them allies. Just like I know that just because someone is a woman like me does not make her my sister in arm. That is what many in America should learn about allies especially Black women in America.

When it comes to men I had to learn that regardless of color good ones come in all skin shades, so does the really bad one and that is why i never limited myself in terms of who I dated even in high school.

As for Supporting Gay people I'm concur. It must be hell for them living a lie. I cut off all the homophobes , sexist transphobic, classist in my personal circle. I no use for people like that. They will only poison your environment.

E said...

I wholeheartedly agree that back women need to consider the social climate before choosing a college. I attended a big rural state school in the Northeast, about 10% black. Most off the black student were from big cities (Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport) and had attended big city high schools. They were usually very uncomfortable in the rural college town and clustered at the African American cultural center and black events. There was much policing of authentic black behavior, but of course moreso for women. Even at college, black folks frowned at me for my music, my dress, my opinions, my 'untamed', unrelaxed hair, and my dating choices and I DID NOT care.

I had come from private school and a suburb and I was used to being among whites and middle class folks and socialized as I always had with whomever I found stuff in common with.

I also very much noticed that black men would date Latinas and go to their parties but black girls never dated Latino guys. We also had a great, nationally ranked bball team with all the issues that come along with prominent black male athletes dating whoever they want (as they can should) and black women having hurt feelings and trying to get keep them by doing sexual Olympics.
I had a gorgeous friend have a man tell her she was 'too dark' for him to bring home. She was so, so hurt. But yes, imbalanced gender ratios and black women's refusal or fear to date out keep men with too much power. And you know the adage, absolute power corrupts absolutely. There was man-sharing on campus and some of these men acted a fool. And at least a few of the city girls got pregnant and had babies. I remembered being so confused as to why anyone would go to college just to get knocked up by Tyrone from back home. But that was what they knew and being in college didn't seem to change that.


I dated two different white guys in college, both for about a year and a half each, with plenty of dating for fun in between. I am pretty sure had I not dated those two guys, I would have had no boyfriends in college. I know plenty of black girls who never had any dates at all for FOUR years. It was so sad. On Friday nights, the white girls would go out, the 'exotic' girls would go out, and usually the typical-looking black girls would stay in and eat popcorn and watch movies and relax their hair. I like movies and popcorn, too, but I didn't go to college to recreate the all-girls' sleepovers of my childhood. I actually considered a PWI women's college, Smith in Mass, but decided I wanted a social life that included seeing males on a daily basis. Some of the black girls in my dorm would quietly pull me aside and ask where they could meet a cute white guy who "liked black girls." I'd say "Ooh girl, the library, the dining hall and class." I am cute, but not THAT cute. I was just friendly and open, I expressed my interest subtlely so the guy knew I wouldn't laugh in his face and say "Naw, I don't date nothin' white." Seriously, the black women who do that ruin it for everybody! Even my white friends would ask where I met my guys. I always played dumb with them. Hahaha.

E said...

Many women do meet husbands in college, most, like myself, marry men they meet soon after schoolThe average for first marriage for women is 25, slightly older for college-educated women, so while. I know you are being pointed by using the phrase 'MRS degree'and I agree that college is a very important social setting for meeting like-minded men, but I find the phrase to be old-fashioned and a tad sexist because serious women students have worked to overcome the perception that we are simply in class and on campus to meet men and get married. Of course, back in the day as now, someone women have primarily have social concerns in college, but I and my friends would have been appalled had somebody married in college, or before at least 24 or 25. I know in the south it's much different though and my friends who went to Southern school said folks paired off much younger. I finished undergrad 5 yrs ago and now it seems there a ton of engagement and weddings, so I think 24-27 is the range I see most. But yes, this discussion about HBCUs needs to be had. Most are NOT of the caliber they used to be because strong black students are no longer limited to them. And quiet as it's kept, sometimes the quality isn't much better than community college.

Khadija said...

Anonymous,

For now, I'm going to ignore the sea of anonymous comments. If you (y'all?) can't even come up with a screen name to hide behind, why should I invest time in trying to respond to each anonymous comment? I can't tell which "Anonymous" is which. I might decide to reject all anonymous comments for the rest of this conversation.
_____________

Zindzhi,

With all due respect, here's my take on things: Foreign Black folks are free to emphasize how "international" they are, and to distance themselves from AAs. But this ALSO means that these "international" Black folks should NOT try to come running back to AAs for support when they get sodomized with a baton by a White racist cop (like Abner Louima from Haiti) or murdered in a hail of bullets from racist cops (like Ahmadou Diallo from Africa).

They need to seek out "international" help from their fellow "international" people in such circumstances. And AAs need to STOP volunteering help in those circumstance, and let such folks twist in the wind with their problems.

My issue isn't with whom folks choose to associate. People are free to associate with whomever they wish. My issue is with folks who only come around AAs when they want or need something from us---such as when they need help dealing with some agent of White racism who hurt them in some way. I only support people who support me. I only have affection for people who have affection for me. This is reciprocity.
____________________

E,

You said, "Many women do meet husbands in college, most, like myself, marry men they meet soon after schoolThe average for first marriage for women is 25, slightly older for college-educated women, so while. I know you are being pointed by using the phrase 'MRS degree'and I agree that college is a very important social setting for meeting like-minded men, but I find the phrase to be old-fashioned and a tad sexist because serious women students have worked to overcome the perception that we are simply in class and on campus to meet men and get married."

I think it would be helpful to keep in mind that you're saying this from the posture of being married. I believe that this posture (of being offended by acknowledging the importance of using college to seek a MRS degree) is a luxury that the vast majority of AA women CANNOT afford.

We are operating in a context of a 70% unmarried rate and a roughly 80% bastard child rate. In this context, AA women can't afford to call ourselves "overcoming" the perception that we desire LEGITIMATE MARRIAGE---just like every other race/ethnic group of women.

I would compare it to the situation with stereotypes about Asian women. I don't hear many of them complaining because these sterotypes work for them in terms of being sought by men from a variety of races/ethnic groups.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Also, as others have said, the type of people you socialize with in college affect you for years afterward regarding both social and professional networking. After attending a PWI women's school and an HBCU for grad school, I have realized that I have spent WAY too much time with people who are not likely to be interested in a long-term relationship. Socially, I have connections to black social circles and lesbian social circles, but that is limiting socially and professionally as a straight, west African-looking AA woman. I followed scholarship money, but at what cost?

Zabeth said...

Hi Khadija,

In today's post you referenced:

“I know plenty of black girls who never had any dates at all for FOUR years. [Khadija speaking: Oh, my God.] It was so sad. On Friday nights, the white girls would go out, the 'exotic' girls would go out, and usually the typical-looking black girls would stay in and eat popcorn and watch movies and relax their hair. I like movies and popcorn, too, but I didn't go to college to recreate the all-girls' sleepovers of my childhood. [Khadija: {still shaking my head in sorrow---these young ladies missed out on sooo much by clinging to "nuthin' but a BM"}]”

I’ve been lurking on your blog for awhile now. Your blog posts do make me think and I thank you for that. I finally felt the urge to de-lurk in response to this comment.

I can relate to this situation. I attended a PWI as well where the AA population was around 12%. I did date in college- but not as much as I would’ve liked to. For me I was very conflicted. I didn’t adhere to the nothing but a BM mentality but I did feel pressure to date and surround myself with only AAs (partly because the community was so small). But by simply looking around at the dating situation and considering the realities that existed outside of my college campus I knew I couldn’t depend on only dating BM and self segregating. I also grew up in a very internationally diverse city so I was somewhat comfortable “mixing” and “mingling” and I was able to have a diverse group of friends of various ethnicities to help extend my social and professional circles. So, though I may not have dated as much as I would’ve liked the experience did allow me to address a lot of my issues surrounding IR relationships- which has helped me in the “real world”- so to speak.

As a side note, having friendships and interactions with WW in college can be very enlightening. It gave me a lot of insight into the mentalities surrounding IR dating among BM and WW and dating and relationships overall. It is true that some WW use college as an opportunity to get their Mrs. degree or as a “test site” to determine what it is that they’re looking for in a husband so that they are prepared for marriage and family by the time they graduate and enter the work world.

zindzhi said...

I was not even coming from a place of African Americans vs foreign blacks Kadija. It was hard for me to deal with having my blackness constantly being questioned by some of them,because I spoke proper English and loved to study. many of my foreign black friend got grief for that as well and for dating outside tier race.it is why we stayed away, because we came from poor countries and knew that education was the only way out for us. Other foreign blacks who turn their noses down at all African Americans are stupid and prejudiced.

Like I said I look for allies everywhere regardless of color. and ethnicity. it's all about love for me.

Too bad you should think that of me. That I somehow feel superior, because I'm from somewhere else. that is not me at all. I just say it can feel lonely and alienating to having who your are questioned all the time because you don't fit an idea of how black people should act by other black people. And when I did experience racism I went to my friends.

Asian women do complain about the stereotype. There is no glory for them in it.As they are treated like objects and the white male and non white male that fetishes them and treat them like object where one Asian woman is interchangeable for the other.Who wants that, If you don't believe me read the Asian women livejournal carnival or the village voice article Yellow fever or some article on racialicious.com

I 'm sorry you feel this way and will not take any more of your comment space.

KM said...

@zindzhi

The whole acting black was in full force when I went to school and people still remember who did and didn't. I went up for an alumni weekend this summer and the only people who I was able to reconnect with were the white alumni & football players I was friends with. I went to a black alumni event and basically, the only comment outside of social pleasantries was "Oh, that's your name? I know you and that's it," from a BW who swiftly walked away from me.

It hurt but you know, I'd rather that happen that be stuck inside the Matrix. Social stigmas suck but when it comes to life or death, I'd rather be shunned and live.

Halima said...

I think it would be helpful to keep in mind that you're saying this from the posture of being married. I believe that this posture (of being offended by acknowledging the importance of using college to seek a MRS degree) is a luxury that the vast majority of AA women CANNOT afford.

We are operating in a context of a 70% unmarried rate and a roughly 80% bastard child rate. In this context, AA women can't afford to call ourselves "overcoming" the perception that we desire LEGITIMATE MARRIAGE---just like every other race/ethnic group of women.


Fantastic point Khadija!

This discomfort and embarrassment around marriage is borrowed from white feminists and their 'beefs' around same, particularly their theories that marriage is a site of oppression for women.

For bw marriage as a site of opression takes back seat to it being a potential site for division of the intense labour involved in raising families etc, something which bw have continued to bear almost sole responsibility for (as is clear from 80% oow).

But as usual, bw borrow ww's definitions, battles and critiques without understanding their own situation and how their reality diverges from that of ww.

Indeed you pointed out something extremely crucial Khadija, looking at the figures of OOW and singleness, its high time that bw realized that they have been targeted for male dissociation and social disfellowship, they, not ww or aw or hw etc but they bw. Thus we bw do not have the luxury of being offended by the ideas of needing relationships and or embarrassed by the ideas of bw being keen for relationships. Let those women who society goes out of its way to ensure that they have male attention and interest take offence in men and marriage, they can afford it!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Zabeth!

{waving}

You're welcome, and THANK YOU for your kind words about the blog. I truly appreciate it.

You know, I'm shocked at how much conditions have deteriorated for AA women in just the last 20-25 years. I was in college in the 80s, and I can't imagine being in the situations younger women are describing in the comments that I quoted in today's post.

It's an absolute disgrace; and I feel ashamed about the AA women in my age group (early 40s) who allowed this catastrophe to become established and entrenched. AA women in my age group saw the beginnings of these trends, and the vast majority of us said and did NOTHING to resist it.

I've been speaking out against the colorism and gendered racism among AAs that has escalated and become a 1,000 times worse since I was in high school. There have been very few other AA women speaking out with me. Especially few other light-skinned AA women (such as myself).

I could see why many darker AA women allowed themselves to be silenced. When they speak out they are accused of being jealous of light women, etc. People couldn't come at me with that "jealousy" accusation, so they simply did the "gaslight" routine and acted as they weren't doing what they were doing.

I'm disgusted that other light-skinned AA women were too stupid to see where BM's unchecked colorism would end up---with us being discriminated against as well. With BM's paper bag test for women escalating into a "manila folder and Whiter" test.

The plain truth is that most AA women who "passed" the paper bag test were okay with BM's colorism until it escalated and bit us in the buttocks.

Over the years, I've been actively atoning for the error in judgment that I made as a teenager and young adult regarding the hip-hop trash. You see, I had allowed myself to be bullied into silence about its poison by accusations of being "bougie." This kept me from loudly condemning the hip-hop/rap trash that first began when I was a teenager.

Many (actually most) non-ghetto AAs really knew better at the beginning of hip-hop. We KNEW that this genre was some DEGRADING trash created by no-talent bums. And most of us KNEW that the hip-hop scum were WRONG to slander C. Delores Tucker.

Non-ghetto AAs in my age group knew better. About a lot of things. And most of us said and did nothing. We allowed the Black underclass and its cheerleaders to bully us into silence.

NEVER AGAIN.


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

SweetSoulSister said...

Khadija Said:
With all due respect, here's my take on things: Foreign Black folks are free to emphasize how "international" they are, and to distance themselves from AAs. But this ALSO means that these "international" Black folks should NOT try to come running back to AAs for support when they get sodomized with a baton by a White racist cop (like Abner Louima from Haiti) or murdered in a hail of bullets from racist cops (like Ahmadou Diallo from Africa).

They need to seek out "international" help from their fellow "international" people in such circumstances. And AAs need to STOP volunteering help in those circumstance, and let such folks twist in the wind with their problems.

My issue isn't with whom folks choose to associate. People are free to associate with whomever they wish. My issue is with folks who only come around AAs when they want or need something from us---such as when they need help dealing with some agent of White racism who hurt them in some way. I only support people who support me. I only have affection for people who have affection for me. This is reciprocity.
__________________________________

Thank you for saying this Khadija. For the life of me, I do not understand why these foreign women come to blogs meant for AA women, constantly trumpeting their (in their own minds only) superiority in all things. If things are so much better for them and if their countries are so different and they feel they are so much better and more advanced, why do they come to America? I just think they need to start their own blogs and I love that you confront these women on a constant basis. They are NOT our allies. Love to you, sis! Keep doing what you do.

KM said...

Khadija said:

The plain truth is that most AA women who "passed" the paper bag test were okay with BM's colorism until it escalated and bit us in the buttocks.


YESS!

It amused me by the end of my last years in college how the lighter-skinned girls (and I'm one who can pass the brown paper test) would have looks of disbelief when the football players, basketball players would have their white/latina/asian girlfriends and they would be regulated as potential jumpoffs. Or if they were a girlfriend, many times it would be as the "wifey" of one of the black nationalist guys but everyone knew that the guy was dating everyone else as well.

I know people posting here wouldn't think this but if anyone is lurking and reading, just know that this went across class lines. The girl who was in Jack and Jill, the AKAs/Deltas/Zetas/SGRhos, to the girl from the roughest projects, they felt it all on the same exact level. None of us were considered good enough to most of the BM there. Not all, there were some BM who truly dated BW and most of them got married by graduation or 1-2 years later. those were very few and very far between.

I can count on my fingers how many BW who only dated black at college are married (one married a Black Latino). Most are still single and/or baby mamas. While out of the girls who dated out, most of them are married (I'm the lone holdout but it's okay b/c I still have prospects.)

Khadija said...

Zindzhi,

You're putting words into my mouth that I never said. I don't enjoy that. Please stop doing that.

You said, "I was not even coming from a place of African Americans vs foreign blacks Kadija."

I never said that you were. I also was NOT coming from "a place of African-Americans vs. foreign blacks."

You said, "It was hard for me to deal with having my blackness constantly being questioned by some of them,because I spoke proper English and loved to study. many of my foreign black friend got grief for that as well and for dating outside tier race."

It's been hard for me TOO having my "Blackness" questioned. I ALSO have had the experience of being hassled "because I spoke proper English and loved to study." I've ALSO been in situations where I've gotten "grief for that as well and for dating outside tier race."

You said, "Other foreign blacks who turn their noses down at all African Americans are stupid and prejudiced."

I agree. Furthermore, as I have said on earlier occassions, I feel that African-Americans who turn their noses down at all" 'foreign' Blacks are stupid and prejudiced.

You said, "Too bad you should think that of me. That I somehow feel superior, because I'm from somewhere else. that is not me at all."

I never said that I thought ANYTHING in specific reference to you. Where are you getting this from?

What I WILL say is this:


(1) Whenever somebody goes far out of their way to make sure that I know that they are oh-so-TOTALLY-different from me---then I agree with them! This means that I agree that they are TOTALLY different and I treat them like they are totally different. That means that there is NO connection between them and me or mine.

Khadija said...

Part 2 (of reply to Zindzhi)

(2) To me it's not about "foreign vs. African-American." It's about MANNERS.

I think a lot of Black folks who continuously and unnecessarily emphasize how "international" they are haven't considered how that behavior sometimes comes off to "the locals."

To my way of thinking, that's rude. For somebody to continually repeat and emphasize how they're NOT one of "the locals" is to imply that there's something wrong with being mistaken for one of "the locals."


When I travel to other places, there's no need for me to go out of my way to keep repeating and emphasizing that I'm NOT one of "the locals." After talking to me, it's probably fairly obvious to the locals that I'm not one of "the locals."

If was living in another country, I doubt that "the locals" would appreciate hearing me repeat to them OVER and OVER again that I'm an American, and I'm NOT from there.

As if they're too stupid to notice that---especially after talking to me. For me to insert into every other sentence or conversation statements like "Well, I'm an AMERICAN, you know..." probably would not be well received.

Again, this isn't about "foreign vs. African-American." It's about MANNERS.

I have the same negative reaction to so-called biracial/multicultural, etc. folks who insert into every other sentence or conversation statements like "Well, I'm BIRACIAL/MULTICULTURAL, you know...."

I have the same negative reaction to people who people who insert constant, unnecessary references to their job or professional titles into conversations. They generally only do that when speaking to people who don't have advanced educations or similar professional titles.

For somebody to constantly and unnecessarily make reference to how they're oh-so-different from whoever they're talking to is a subtle put-down. And rude, as far as I'm concerned.

Zindzhi, let's be clear: I NEVER accused you of doing any of these behaviors. And you're perfectly free and welcome to do what you want. You're free and welcome to continue to comment at this blog. You're free and welcome to stop in the conversations at this blog. That's all up to you.

My previous comment was in reference to those "international" Black folks who DO constantly and unnecessarily emphasize how they're oh-so-different from African-Americans. I don't have any solidarity with people who make sure I know that they're oh-so-different from me. Along any dimension or attribrute.


You said, "I just say it can feel lonely and alienating to having who your are questioned all the time because you don't fit an idea of how black people should act by other black people."

Yeah, I agree. I've ALSO had this experience.

tertiaryanna said...

@Halima
Indeed you pointed out something extremely crucial Khadija, looking at the figures of OOW and singleness, its high time that bw realized that they have been targeted for male dissociation and social disfellowship, they, not ww or aw or hw etc but they bw. Thus we bw do not have the luxury of being offended by the ideas of needing relationships and or embarrassed by the ideas of bw being keen for relationships. Let those women who society goes out of its way to ensure that they have male attention and interest take offence in men and marriage, they can afford it!

I absolutely agree. I can also attest to the "acting Black crew" giving damaging messages to BW about their desirability. It's really insidious to be told that you won't fit in w/BM because you don't act Black enough, but you're too Black for a man of another group to want you. I know for a fact that this message kept girls home eating popcorn instead of having dates.

To couple that with the idea that it's wrong somehow to want to be in a relationship is a flat-out attack on the BW's esteem. And to tell a BW that there's no compared to her other-racial counterparts divorces her from strategies she could employ to level her playing field. It's straight-up mental poison.

Khadija said...

Part 3 (of reply to Zindzhi)

About the Asians/Asian-Americans:

Well...counting from the start of high school, I've been watching them for the past 30 years. My impression is that the handfull of Asians/Asian-Americans in the US who are publicly complaining and confronting anybody ABOUT ANYTHING are NOT in the mainstream for that group (in terms of how they behave while in the US).

What I've noticed is that they generally don't "do" public confrontations; and they don't protest much of anything. And why should they? Non-Blacks and non-AAs have learned that they can usually rely on AA organizations to protest against (White) racism on their behalf and/or do most of the "heavy lifting" when it comes to protests, etc.

What I've seen is that Asian/Asian-American women don't do the sort of public confrontations and complaining about stereotypes that AA women do. I have NEVER seen one of them publicly question or challenge (much less chastise) a White person who verbalized a stereotype about Asian women.

I don't count a handful of Asian women PRIVATELY grumbling off in a corner or on blogs as them actually having a problem with the stereotypes. If they really had a problem with these stereotypes, their behavior would in at least a small way reflect the fact that they had a problem with it.

This type of thing reminds me of how I've seen WW privately grumble off to the side with other women, and talk that feminist talk...and then go out on dates with extremely sexist, but well-connected man. Talk is cheap. Especially private talk off in a side corner. ACTIONS are what counts. [Incidentally, I don't blame them or the WW that I'm describing. It's a shrewd strategy to talk the talk but still seek to reap the benefits of whatever you're pretending to complain about.]

I don't see the ones being interviewed on tv complaining about being stereotyped as being submissive, etc.

The only one I can think of that I've seen publicly running around complaining about stuff like that is the comedian Margaret Cho. If I remember correctly, she's hooked up to a BM. I do know that she actively campaigns in suppport of gay rights. That's not mainstream behavior.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Truth prevails said...

Hi Khadija,(smiling)Thank you for the posts.You have no idea how helpful this is.These posts come at a time where i have 2 teenaged sisters ready to go to college in a couple years and one of them is considering Spelman.I read your post and many other articles in newspapers online etc on the state of HBCU's and i'm proud to say that i've been talking my sister out of going.I do not want her to face a high probability of aids/hiv pregnany and undereducation.I know from the research i've been doing i am right in talking her out of this.Unfortunately,there are 6 of us we no longer have either of our parents in our lives so I have had to help raise my siblings all my life,even in my childhood when my parents were married, along with my grandma.It's stressful and i've missed out on alot but i'm thankful for your site as well as WAOD.I have been able to help my sisters and myself avoid certain pitfalls and entrapments that would certainly be the mental spiritual and physical death of us as bw.Thank you for everything.One thing i've been saying to myself and my sisters is that we cannot do anything to change the parents we were given.We cannot do anything about our parents carelessness and bad decisions but we can make sure that we don't add to our own problems.We can make sure that we don't actively participate in our own degradations and destruction and this is something that my sisters and I are learning to live by.As the saying goes God won't put on us more than we can bear.I know this to be true.It only becomes an unbearable burden when we add unnecessary weights that we were never meant to carry.So again,big Thank you Khadija.You along with some of the other BWE bloggers have really made a difference in my life.I hope you reach many more and I hope that I too wil be of value to some willing soul going through hardships.Stay blessed

zoopath said...

@Khadija: I second that emotion regarding the low degree of outrage the other minority communities express towards racism. Just because a few asian women are fighting the stereotype does not mean as a whole that they're rejecting their priviledge, nor am I saying that they should. My husband is Taiwanese and \ he (for obvious reasons) agrees that asian women are priviledged and don't eschew it. However, he does have a bit of "everything but the burden syndrome". By that I mean that he doesn't like the blatantly racist media depictions of asians and remarks correctly that in general, blacks don't have to deal with blantant racism in mainstream media and wants asians to be treated in the same manner. I reply with "where's your Al Sharpton?" I'm not a big fan of his but sometimes you have to be willing to show anger and outrage to get the larger culture to respect some of your boundaries. However, he tells me that that's not how his community operates and they don't want to look like buffoons. I agree that blacks could stand to turn down the buffoonery however, if you're not willing to risk your "good, safe minority" status to get some respect then that's a choice. There's someone, somewhere thinking of an ad that's racist to blacks right now but he or she is going to think twice because he doesn't want Al Sharpton on his doorstep.

zoopath said...

More on topic, my mother discouraged me from attending HBCU's because they didn't have as much funding. However, one school did send me an application and they didn't accept personal checks, only money orders! How tacky is that? That application hit the trash.

Khadija said...

Halima,

Thank you for your kind words; AND for (as always) elevating the level of any conversation by your participation. I truly appreciate it.

You said, "This discomfort and embarrassment around marriage is borrowed from white feminists and their 'beefs' around same, particularly their theories that marriage is a site of oppression for women."

Yep. It reminds me of an interview that Ted Koppel did with Nelson Mandela shortly after he was released from prison. Koppel kept trying to bait Mr. Mandela into criticizing Fidel Castro and the Cuban government's policies. As Mr. Mandela finally pointedly told Koppel, "Your enemies are not my enemies."

You said, "...looking at the figures of OOW and singleness, its high time that bw realized that they have been targeted for male dissociation and social disfellowship, they, not ww or aw or hw etc but they bw.

Thus we bw do not have the luxury of being offended by the ideas of needing relationships and or embarrassed by the ideas of bw being keen for relationships. Let those women who society goes out of its way to ensure that they have male attention and interest take offence in men and marriage, they can afford it!"
(emphasis added)

I 1,000% co-sign! Especially the observation that BW have been TARGETED for male apathy and disfellowship! This ideology of "Y'all BW don't need legitimate husbands and fathers for your children" is part of the ATTACK on BW.
_________________________

SweetSoulSister,

Thank you for your support and encouraging words; I truly appreciate it.

But let me emphasize the point I hoped to make in my long-winded (but I hope thorough) reply: I'm not for or against categories of people. In particular, Zindzhi is perfectly welcome to return and participate (if that is her wish).

To me, it's NOT about foreign Black vs. AA, or men vs. women, or Christian vs. Muslim, or other binary juxtapositions based on identity politics. For me, it's about values: Respect vs. disrespect, justice vs. injustice, reciproicty vs. exploitation, etc.

I don't cooperate with disrespect, injustice, or exploitation. No matter who's doing it. Or who they're doing it to. The Holy Quran instructs Muslims:

"O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives..." 4:135.

Khadija said...

Part 2

KM,

I just tell the plain truth. Straight, no chaser. LOL!

You said, "I can count on my fingers how many BW who only dated black at college are married (one married a Black Latino). Most are still single and/or baby mamas. While out of the girls who dated out, most of them are married (I'm the lone holdout but it's okay b/c I still have prospects.)"

And that's the bottom line, as far as I'm concerned.
________________________

TruthPrevails,

You're welcome; and THANK YOU for your kind words and encouragement. I truly appreciate it.
________________________

Zoopath,

You said, "By that I mean that he doesn't like the blatantly racist media depictions of asians and remarks correctly that in general, blacks don't have to deal with blantant racism in mainstream media and wants asians to be treated in the same manner. I reply with "where's your Al Sharpton?"

I'm not a big fan of his but sometimes you have to be willing to show anger and outrage to get the larger culture to respect some of your boundaries. However, he tells me that that's not how his community operates and they don't want to look like buffoons.

I agree that blacks could stand to turn down the buffoonery however, if you're not willing to risk your "good, safe minority" status to get some respect then that's a choice. There's someone, somewhere thinking of an ad that's racist to blacks right now but he or she is going to think twice because he doesn't want Al Sharpton on his doorstep."


Yes. Even though I berate Rev. "Baby Daddy" Jackson and Rev. "Hot Comb" Sharpton for their MANY trespasses against the interests of AA women and children, I still give credit where it is due. I still tell the truth. The truth is that, despite their HUGE flaws, these 2 jackleg preachers have served a greater purpose.

A lot of us would not have access to our non-Black spouses, neighborhoods, or our "good jobs" if it hadn't been for many of the things that Rev. Baby Daddy participated in during the 1960s. Whatever his motives were/are, he helped many of us. Even if it was by accident and not by design.

I strongly believe that folks need to remember that part of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" when berating them for their many grievous flaws.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JS said...

I hope this comment isn’t derailing the conversation but I always found it odd when AA women would complain about not being included as beauty icons by the mainstream but would fight tooth and nail about being “sexualized” by non-black men especially white American men. Last time I checked in order to be seen as a desirable beautiful woman being sexually desirable was an essential ingredient. Otherwise, your beauty is regulated to tokenism or admired as an abstract piece of art completely removed from human sexuality and desirability.

zindzhi said...

Thank you Kadija. I will not lie I took it personally. I enjoy your blog and truly believe that black women the world over can benefit from reading it. It's not everyday I find a safe space to talk about the issues that affect me as a black woman. I may not always agree, but the advice and the conversation on your blog is inspiring. Your blog has an world appeal, because it about black woman finding joy and happiness. And leaving the everything that is detrimental to them behind. Usually that is not the message we get.

@SweetSoulSister.
where is this hostility coming from ? why is there a xenophobic tinge to your post?

Kadija tell me if it's okay for me to continue to participate. If I'm in any way trespassing on the blog, Then please let me know. I can understand that African American women need their own spaces to discuss issues that affect them as American Black women.I want in no way to be an interloper , trespasser on your blog.

I read discussion going on some of the popular Asian American blogs and it seems that they are coming into their own in terms of activism against racism.

Asian men find themselves in the same predicament as black women in terms of marriage options. They also get the ,message from their Family members that only Asian wife will be accepted. Asian American women do not get this message from their parents.
Peace

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Halima and Khadija:

You said, "...looking at the figures of OOW and singleness, its high time that bw realized that they have been targeted for male dissociation and social disfellowship, they, not ww or aw or hw etc but they bw.

Thus we bw do not have the luxury of being offended by the ideas of needing relationships and or embarrassed by the ideas of bw being keen for relationships. Let those women who society goes out of its way to ensure that they have male attention and interest take offence in men and marriage, they can afford it!"(emphasis added)

I 1,000% co-sign! Especially the observation that BW have been TARGETED for male apathy and disfellowship! This ideology of "Y'all BW don't need legitimate husbands and fathers for your children" is part of the ATTACK on BW.

My reply:

...by once again, telling them they are "strong" and so, don't "need a man...," and some black women have been silly enough to buy into it...

S said...

Speaking of AW....

I just finished reading the article 'yellow fever' and this particular part of the article i thought was very interesting.

From "yellow fever"

"Things got worse when I heard the story of my friend Lydia, whose boyfriend's Asiaphilic tendencies didn't reveal themselves for months. By the end of the relationship, the guy had become an East Asian Studies/Chinese language double major, and never missed a chance to converse with her family in their native Mandarin. When she wasn't around, he'd call her father to go out for Chinese food.

He's gone, but his impact on Lydia remains.

"It always crosses my mind," she says, "that I'm replaceable."

The part where she says she is replaceable almost always comes up with AW who are in irr with non AM.
I feel as though most people see AW as "all the same, all alike" type of women.
which when you think about it is sad.

Atleast when it comes to us BW and irr, we know to a certain extent that when a non BM approaches us most of the times it's sincere.
Because if they wanted the exotic non white girl, they'd choose an asian girl.
Atleast i've found it to be that way.
Almost all non bm that have ever approached me were serious about me and having a relationship with me.
Seeing as we have the most negative stereotypes of all women, it's almost as if it HAS to be love.

E said...

JS- I agree and have noticed that same thing. Most black women don't complain when they are hyper-sexualized in black men's magazines and music videos, but let a white or other man call them pretty or hot and they are offended! Bizarre, but when you are indoctrinated to see black men as your only option, strange things happen.

I am thought some more about Khadija's use of the term 'MRS degree'. I agree that I am coming from a place of privilege because I have a fiance and never limited myself in terms of dating, and I am rethinking my automatic offense at the term. My ultimate concern is that black women will not be taken seriously as students thus further limiting their options to participate in society, with or without marriage. I understand exactly what you mean that as black women, we don't have the same concerns about marriage and relationships as other women. I do worry though because 'feminist' has been used as an epithet just like 'lesbian' at times to scare black women into submission and silence them against talking about the sexism we have experienced both in our own families and the dominant culture. I use the term proudly, though I get why other black women don't because of historical racism. Just wanted to let you all know that I enjoy this community of thinkers and think deeply about what you have to say. We don't have to agree totally to benefit from these conversations.

Khadija said...

Zindzhi,

As I said several times before, you're perfectly welcome to participate in the conversations here.

Yes, there are commonalities to BW's experiences throughout the world. Just because I focus first on my own ethnic group's circumstances does not equal being hostile to other BW's experiences. It also doesn't equal being unaward of the commonalities. It simply means that I prioritize myself and the people most like me.
_________________________

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "My reply:

...by once again, telling them they are "strong" and so, don't "need a man...," and some black women have been silly enough to buy into it..."


I don't think that's quite it. I think for many BW, it's more about resenting the way one's life is DEVALUED if one is not married. I've seen this referred to as "marriage supremacy" and "marriage supremacists."

And I understand this because I'm also annoyed by women who presume that they are somehow more "grown" and more of a "real" woman because they are married. The notion that one's life as a woman has no value unless and until one is married or has kids IS offensive.
_______________________

S,

We should keep Asian women's marriage rates in mind when assessing their complaints. Also, for all that Asian woman's whining, just look at the amount of mental energy the guy invested into that situation:

"By the end of the relationship, the guy had become an East Asian Studies/Chinese language double major, and never missed a chance to converse with her family in their native Mandarin. When she wasn't around, he'd call her father to go out for Chinese food."

Chinese is one of the HARDEST languages for native English speakers to learn! As I think of this woman's words, I hear the following tune playing in my head---"Don't cry for me Argentina..."

Khadija said...

Part 2

E,

You said, "My ultimate concern is that black women will not be taken seriously as students thus further limiting their options to participate in society, with or without marriage."

To my way of thinking, AA women not being taken "seriously" as students due to having a reputation of seeking MRS. degrees would be an improvement over the current collective image! Right now, AA women aren't being taken seriously as students because of ghetto stereotypes. Some of which are being acted out by AA students like Miss Chanequa Campbell, former Harvard student.

You said, "Just wanted to let you all know that I enjoy this community of thinkers and think deeply about what you have to say. We don't have to agree totally to benefit from these conversations."

I also greatly enjoy these conversations. And I'm also not looking for "total agreement." I'm just interested in what Min. Farrakhan referred to as operational unity. As in being like-minded enough to be able to brainstorm and strategize together.

It's interesting. I ran across a new group of voyeurs who are reading these conversations. And I call them "voyeurs" because they don't sound as if they have any real stake in the issues that we discuss here. They read our discussions about AA women's suffering for entertainment.

I was tickled to read that they feel that I'm a poor writer, and that the essays are poorly written. LOL!

What voyeurs usually don't understand is that these conversations aren't primarily about entertainment for the people who are affected by the issues under discussion.

I know that I don't write these (apparently poorly written---{chuckling}) posts for entertainment value. This is activism in support of a struggle. Specifically the struggle for abundant lives for AA women and girls.

This means that I don't let opponents of abundant life for AA women and girls to use this platform. This means that there's NO open mic here for the Klan, or Nazis, or wife/woman beaters, or sexual predators, or extreme male sexists.

Would anybody expect Min. Farrakhan's ministers to hand their microphone over to a White racist during one of their meetings? Umm...no. Well, the same idea applies here.

At least one voyeur is confused about this. I suspect that part of the reason why the voyeur is confused about this refusal to give the mic to opponents is because this person has probably never participated in any sort of activism. This angle came up during the first Table Talk For Activists post.

We currently have a couple of generations of AAs (and others) who have never seen any sort of "movement" activities up close and personal. So, they're confused.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

roslynholcomb said...

From where I sit, I think the seeking of the MRS degree begins long before college. As many of you know, I have a young son. Folks are frantic around here about what school their child attends. Of course, everyone wants their kids in a good school, but I can assure you this isn't strictly about academics. Some of it is about having your children around 'like-minded people.' We want our kids in schools with people with similar values because we know this is where their first dating/mating opportunities will occur. You don't want your kid going to school with trash because you don't want your kid laying down with trash. I don't think it's something many AAs think about, but I can assure you other groups do.

I can remember my mama saying that if she could do anything, she wish she'd had an opportunity to raise her children's spouses. I thought that was an odd thought, but now I get it. The closest we can come to that is by the schools and social situations we place our children in. I find myself studying the other parents quite closely. I can remember my mama doing the same thing. It's almost instinctive, but somehow along the way we've shut that vibe down in response to the ABC crew's accusation of bourgeosieness. There's nothing wrong with choosing a school or other social situation based on the potential to find like-minded mates there. Indeed, it's very smart and savvy. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

SweetSoulSister said...

zindzhi said:
@SweetSoulSister.
where is this hostility coming from ? why is there a xenophobic tinge to your post?

___________________________________

No hostility Zindzhi.I'm just really, really tired of everyone feeling ALL AA women come up short on all things, that's all. I'm not a Xenophobe but I also don't think AA women should tolerate being "put down" by others, even if it is subtle. Maybe it's my hypersensitivity on the subject, maybe it's your delivery. Or maybe BOTH.

Evia said...

I always found it odd when AA women would complain about not being included as beauty icons by the mainstream but would fight tooth and nail about being “sexualized” by non-black men especially white American men. Last time I checked in order to be seen as a desirable beautiful woman being sexually desirable was an essential ingredient.

JS, I agree! Even with my knowledge of where this comes from, it still annoys me. Today's, AA woman can't have it both ways if she's interested in IR dating/mating because it causes confusion in the IR dating arena. ALL hetero men view women's sexually desirable parts. I remember how so many bw were annoyed when wm were openly salivating over J-Lo's curvy behind. Bw were saying, "Hmph! Bw have curvy behinds TOO. How come wm never admire our behinds?" Yet, when a wm tennis commentator openly admired one of the William's sisters curves, I didn't read where ANY black person viewed that as a positive. They all thought he was a fetishist or something else vile.

And don't let a wm say how he loves a bw's complexion or her fuller lips. Some bw go ballistic about that.LOL! This even confuses me.

Bw need to accept the fact that wm are MEN. They look at bw's sexually desirable parts--just like bm and other men look at them. However, wm have, in effect, been gagged on this front. At the same time, many bw wonder a lot whether wm like bw's dark complexions, hair, lips, noses, etc. I get private notes about that all of the time! This is an example of bw shooting themselves in the foot. They should have supported the wm who commented on the William's sister's curves.


@E--Many ww arrive on campus definitely looking for their MRS, but they do it with subtlety, or it's just understood. I wish so much that bw could learn to be more shrewd but SUBTLE. I think most AA women need to sometimes tone down what they say in public because so many bw do a lot of shooting themselves in the foot, and they then want someone else to heal their foot. LOL! I was definitely on the lookout for a husband on my college campus for sure. OF COURSE I was! I certainly wanted a husband who was a college grad. What better place to look for him than on a college campus? DUH! The difference these days is that so many bw don't get this kind of guidance from home, so they come to blogs.


I think for many BW, it's more about resenting the way one's life is DEVALUED if one is not married. I've seen this referred to as "marriage supremacy" and "marriage supremacists."

Khadija, I've heard bw offline say this too. I know that some people online may view me as a "marriage supremacist"--not saying you do. However the main reason I promote marriage nonstop is because I and my children live well TOTALLY because of my marriages to 2 Quality men. I've been marriage almost all of my adult life and I've grown so tired of other AA women hating on me because of--what they refer to as--"my easy life." So I'm in essence saying to them that maybe they should try to make the same moves that I did and their lives might just be easier too. Marriage to a Quality person clearly has lots of benefits, but I'm in no way saying that any woman should get married if she doesn't want to marry.

Lots of people say they're having fulfilling lives without being married and without children. That's another option. It's ridiculous to devalue someone simply because they chose that option. One size does not fit ALL.

lisa99 said...

Regarding the comments about marriage supremacy/the MRS degree and all that...

I was on a mostly BW discussion forum where the article about marriage eluding high-achieving black women was being discussed. The usual red herrings about the stats not reflecting those who choose to be single or who are co-habitating and lesbians were thrown around, but then someone (a never-married single woman) added that she was tired of hearing about these desperate black women always complaining about not having a man and that she didn't know any single BW like that... that her circle of friends enjoyed their freedom, their disposable income, trips around the world, designer clothes, etc.

An argument ensued when another never-married woman said those things could not replace a husband and children in her life, and the first single woman got very upset, calling the comment "snobbish." She went on to say that how dare the second woman speak for all single black women and that she and her friends were happy with all of the trappings of single life and all.

The second one repeated that she was not criticizing the choice of the first person and her friends, but that for black women who wanted to marry, they should be able to express that and should not have to be satisfied with "freedom" and material things in place of a husband and family.

What I found interesting was how quickly the long-term single women -- who insisted they were fine with their choices -- took offense at the article and the single women who said they'd prefer not to be single. On one hand, members of the first group might have felt that their lives have been devalued by the outside world because they haven't married (whether by choice or not), but at the same time, many of them turn around and like to put single BW who express a strong desire to marry into a "weak-minded, needy, desperate, can't live without a man," box... thus making some of those women feel they need to then break out the SBW persona and prove that they're "okay" with singleness and try to pretend that they really do love all those "benefits" of being single.

I was caught in that trap for a few years... yes, being single was cool, but I knew I desired marriage sooner rather than later. Saying that around certain groups of black women (usually never-married older professionals, but a few older married ones too), however, was a no-no because they'd then seem to have the need to make it feel like I was somehow buying into "society's" idea that I couldn't exist without a man.

Finally, I started living according to my truths and my desires, and I accepted to myself that the Sex and the City-type lifestyle (minus much of the sex, in my case) was NOT what I wanted. I wanted a husband and children, and I wasn't going to let other BW who might not have either deter me from that.

I'm all for more promotion of BW seeking a MRS degree (done subtlely, as Evia says), and using the low marriage stats as motivation to seek marriage, if that's what BW want. And they should be free to express that's what they want without other BW arguing them down.

Khadija said...

Roslyn,

You said, "We want our kids in schools with people with similar values because we know this is where their first dating/mating opportunities will occur. You don't want your kid going to school with trash because you don't want your kid laying down with trash. I don't think it's something many AAs think about, but I can assure you other groups do."

AAs don't consider these issues because we've programmed ourselves to condemn the very idea of making any sort of assessments when it comes to low- and non-functioning people. So, we throw our children to the wolves in order to avoid being perceived as "bougie snobs."
________________________

Evia,

You said, "Khadija, I've heard bw offline say this too. I know that some people online may view me as a "marriage supremacist"--not saying you do. However the main reason I promote marriage nonstop is because I and my children live well TOTALLY because of my marriages to 2 Quality men. I've been marriage almost all of my adult life and I've grown so tired of other AA women hating on me because of--what they refer to as--"my easy life." So I'm in essence saying to them that maybe they should try to make the same moves that I did and their lives might just be easier too. Marriage to a Quality person clearly has lots of benefits, but I'm in no way saying that any woman should get married if she doesn't want to marry."

Well, I've ALSO been promoting marriage. LOL! There's a difference between what you're saying above and what most AA women do. You're pointing out the benefits of marriage. AA women tend to use the status of "got a man/kids" or "ain't got no man/kids" to measure the value of themselves and their time and other women and other women's time.

What some women are rejecting is the idea of accepting condescending put-downs from married women or mothers. These insults come in many forms.

One example is many married women's and mothers' frequent assumption that unmarried women have what one single friend calls "idle time and idle minds."

This leads to the married/mothers making assumptions that the single friend/relative has nothing better to do than to babysit their kids, run errands for them, or for those who are politically inclined, participate in activist struggles that the married/mothers say they don't have time to attend.

[I had to go off on one married friend who made this assumption one time too many, and kept trying to sweat me into attending political activities that she felt were important. Of course, she couldn't go because she was too busy with her kids. Finally, I told her, "You must think that I don't have s*^% else to do with my time but to follow through on YOUR political priorities. No, I DON'T have idle time and an idle mind."]

For another example, if I had a dime for every time a married or parenting BW assumed that she had more "life experience" than me, I would be independently wealthy. What I get is "Oh, you were wise to say/do ___________. That's why I assumed you were married." BW say and think these sorts of things as if "wisdom" (such as it is) comes from marriage and childbirth.

A number of women are sick of disrespectful treatment like the above, and are rejecting it.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Lisa99,

I co-sign your comment. I've also seen the weird dynamics that you're describing. Other BW (including the "single mama mafia" who insist that single parenting is just as good as married parenting) have given me the side-eye and worse over the years for promoting the value of marriage.

I think it's critical that we de-tangle and separate the promotion of marriage from the disrespectful, insulting beliefs that many AA women hold.

The legitimate importance, value and benefits of an MRS degree need to be un-coupled from the disrespect of "You and your life ain't s&%$ because you ain't got no man/kids." Right now, it's all mixed up together and I think the demeaning portion of the message is what's causing many women to verbally balk when they hear marriage being promoted.


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lisa99 said...

The legitimate importance, value and benefits of an MRS degree need to be un-coupled from the disrespect of "You and your life ain't s&%$ because you ain't got no man/kids." Right now, it's all mixed up together and I think the demeaning portion of the message is what's causing many women to verbally balk when they hear marriage being promoted.

EXACTLY! And being that I'm still unmarried (although I plan for that to change soon), I get this a lot too from married women... I know that at my first job, our boss (who actually was an unmarried WW, but most of the offenders were married) would constantly give me and the woman on staff who was a lesbian in a committed relationship extra work to do... work usually first assigned to the married workers who declared they were taking off for their anniversaries or children's recitals and soccer games.

I wasn't mad at the married workers' desire to do such, but I finally put my foot down about picking up their work. When I'd get asked to stay around last minute, I'd go, "Sorry, I already made plans." (Usually to sit on my couch and eat ice cream!)

They learned quickly that they needed to shift their workloads quickly to make the married workers cover their load on days when they didn't have family commitments instead of just assuming that the unmarried women would just do it.

And don't get me started on the black folks (mostly men) who've constantly asked me WHY I'm not married since I was 22. (22!!!) Yet if I later express a desire to marry to other black folks, they say, "Girl, you betta stay single and not be running up behind some man all the time."

Ugh, it's maddening! :)

Karen said...

Honestly the responses/attacks on those that want to marry sound pretty schizophrenic....

Schizophrenia (Merriam-Webster Dictionary):

2 : contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes


Everyone is on point with their remarks and things need to be separated to focus on the benefits of marriage for those who want to be and to respect the decisions of those who don't.

DeStouet said...

"The legitimate importance, value and benefits of an MRS degree need to be un-coupled from the disrespect of "You and your life ain't s&%$ because you ain't got no man/kids." Right now, it's all mixed up together and I think the demeaning portion of the message is what's causing many women to verbally balk when they hear marriage being promoted."

Exactly! And I appreciate your honesty, because I've witnessed several of these conversations in-real-life and both groups (the married women and those who are not married and have no intentions) are hostile with one another.

It'll always be one woman who'll say as Evia said, "One size does not fit ALL. " But other than that, the married women are trying to convince the single women that they should be in the market for a husband. And the single women are trying to convince the married women that not every woman wants a husband and children.

(Also, this discussion will help me come up with my own unique approach on how to to be an response for marriage, and all of its many benefits --especially when speaking to young AA women. Because at the moment, I don't say much during those discussions.

S said...

22!? who the hell marries at 22??
at that age you're suppose to be in college trying to FIND a husband.
I personally think 22 is too young.
i'm 21 and i can't imagine being married until i am atleast 25-27.

Shecodes said...

"The legitimate importance, value and benefits of an MRS degree need to be un-coupled from the disrespect of "You and your life ain't s&%$ because you ain't got no man/kids." Right now, it's all mixed up together and I think the demeaning portion of the message is what's causing many women to verbally balk when they hear marriage being promoted.

You have said a mouthful right there. When it comes to marriage, a lot of us tend to read too much between the lines, hyperanalyzing and re-interpreting statements that should be taken at face value -- but conversely (and maddeningly) we also fail to read and take to heart 2000 foot, neon colored writings on the wall.

Whatever station or season we are in our lives, all of us need more love, period. Sisterly love, maternal love, romantic love... it heals the soul and helps the listener to rightly interpret what is being said by the speaker.

I strongly believe that our 'balking' at discussions toward the benefits of marriage comes from a place of deep fear (that this gift is not one that is available to us). A truly secure woman does not need to defend her marital position.

I have to believe -- I need to believe that the key to unraveling this entire mess begins with bw discovering what genuine love truly is (and is not), and extending it to one another.

It is not corny to say that love is a healer. Thought processes that lead women to believe that you are saying "You and your life ain't s&%$ because you ain't got no man/kids." come from a place of distrust and fear of additional rejection. Love is the only answer for that.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, in response to the recent post of a young black woman (I think?) detailing her experience of the atmosphere at a predominantly white institution and how the black girls went about dating while there, I find myself compelled to tell a little about my own experience at a PWI. For the most part, both our stories mirror one another. Every other non-black or biracial female can/could/and did date, while the black girls didn't.ALL the men, including asian men (not to be stereotypical about it, but they were low on the totem pole and have now join the ranks of dating white girls too) dated as they pleased. BUT! I have known many black girls at my own institution that were NOT the "nothin but a black man type" and were still unable to get a date. If you really want to help black girls, not only should you play down HBCU's but you should also play down PWI's that have a more conservative leaning and seriously lack diversity. I am not discouraging someone from going to a PWI, but PLEASE at least visit or ask black women who are open to interracial dating, how they feel about it at their own PWI. I do agree with Khadija in that my own 4 years of being dateless and having to try so hard to "soften" myself up to the mass population of men at my school is truly sad. I can't do anything about those 4 years, and I intend on seriously getting my dating in now that I am on my last leg. I almost feel robbed because I really did try. Oh wells, I have to be positive about my future, and simply put this behind me.

lisa99 said...

22!? who the hell marries at 22??
at that age you're suppose to be in college trying to FIND a husband.
I personally think 22 is too young.
i'm 21 and i can't imagine being married until i am atleast 25-27.


It was some BM jack-leg preacher who made that silly statement to me... I say jack-leg because he gave me his business card and it had a P.O. Box as an address.

The only reason I even was speaking to this man was because I was stuck in the airport after a snowstorm. I had just come back from a study abroad in Europe, and I "thought" this man was interested in my trip... then he interrupts me to ask, "Why haven't I given my hand in marriage to some young man?"

I was so caught off guard, that I didn't know what to say.

I know I'm getting off topic, but I have found that more DBRBM will strike up a random conversation with me, and then in an effort to show their "interest," they'll say, "So why aren't you married yet?"

It puts BW in a very defensive stance, if they aren't prepared for it and don't realize they're dealing with a DBR... and in a way, I can see how some of this helps to develop and add to a defensive stance when someone else tries to discuss the benefits of marriage in a non-judgmental way.

Khadija said...

Karen,

You said, "Honestly the responses/attacks on those that want to marry sound pretty schizophrenic...."

It IS schizophrenic. But what it all boils down to is yet another example of the widespread free-floating aggression against and between AA women. What one notices is that there's no "win" for some folks regarding AA women.

No matter what an AA woman is doing...for whatever motivation...she will often come under attack. And sometimes the attack(s) will take contradictory positions. It's crazy. And crazy-making for those who let the attacks into their hearts and minds.
_______________________

DeStouet,

You said, "Exactly! And I appreciate your honesty, because I've witnessed several of these conversations in-real-life and both groups (the married women and those who are not married and have no intentions) are hostile with one another."

My take on it that there's a LOT of free-floating HATRED among AA women. And this free-floating hate and aggression manifests in many different ways, and along many different dimensions-----be it class, skin color, marital status, educational status, etc., etc. etc.

You said, "It'll always be one woman who'll say as Evia said, "One size does not fit ALL. " But other than that, the married women are trying to convince the single women that they should be in the market for a husband. And the single women are trying to convince the married women that not every woman wants a husband and children."

I think you're being charitable in your description of the motives. I don't think that anybody is trying to convince others of anything in most of these sorts of conversations. It looks to me like it's mostly a game of one-upmanship. The unfortunate reality is that BW do a LOT of ugly things among and to each other.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Shecodes,

Well, this is interesting because it ties into the previous "gaslighting" discussion. I trust my impressions of what I see and hear happening around me. I reject gaslighting, no matter what its source or motivation. I would suggest that other women also trust their impressions of what's going on around them. And I strongly urge other women to also reject attempts at gaslighting, no matter what its source or motivation.

From my perspective, there's a LOT of free-floating hatred and aggression going on among and between Black folks. Similarly, there's a LOT of free-floating hatred and aggression going on among and between BW.

And the pattern of how this hatred and aggression manifests is basically the same, no matter what particular dimension/attribute. This is part of what I've learned from observing aggression that's directed at me and aggression that's directed at others. So, I trust my own observations whether or not a particular form of aggression is personally directed toward me or not.

In plain terms, I don't have to be the one who's being knocked in the head with a bat to recognize what that kind of attack looks like. I can also recognize the hostile intentions that go into hitting other people over the head with a bat. And of course, if I can recognize when other folks are being hit in the head with a bat, I can recognize when I'm being hit in the head with a bat.

No matter how people try to explain away the fact that somebody was attacked with a bat. No matter how they try to explain away the fact that it was an attack:

"I/they just have a preference for swinging bats in close proximity to other people's heads. I/they didn't mean to hurt them...

...People are coming from a place of deep fear if they interpret my choice to swing a bat near their/somebody else's head as an attack...

...A secure person would not feel the need to defend their personal space around their head from a swinging bat...

...All we need is love and then folks won't read negative things into the bat swings 2 mm away from their heads..."


{chuckling} Ummm...no. I trust my own observations of the various "bat-wielding" attacks going on among and between Black folks and BW.


I trust my own observations of the escalating colorism within the AA collective. When BW get smacked in the head with the colorism bat, I call it an attack.

I trust my own observations of the class-based hateration/snobbery that flies around in all directions within the AA collective. When Black folks engage in class-based, bat-wielding free-for-alls, I call it a gang attack.

I trust my own observations of the "got a man" one-upmanship and put-downs that go on among BW. So when I see BW being smacked in the head with the "you ain't got no man" bat, I call it an attack.

Now, this last form of attack is what came up during this conversation, but there are other forms of family-based attacks. There's also the one-upmanship and subtle put-downs of vocally "measuring" other women's children against one's own children. There's also the one-upmanship and subtle put-downs of vocally "measuring" one's husband/boyfriend against other women's husband/boyfriend. I've watched BW engage in the "my catch is better than your catch" game.

The attributes that AAs hit other AAs in the head about are literally endless. Not all of these have come up during these conversations. And I don't expect all of them come be mentioned with specificity because the list is endless.

But, let me repeat my bottom line about ALL of these types of attacks: I've seen more than enough attacks to recognize them when I see/hear them. I trust my own observations. I reject gaslighting, no matter what its source or motivation.

I suggest that other women trust their own observations and experiences. And I strongly urge other women to also reject attempts at gaslighting, no matter what its source or motivation.


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Shecodes said...

@Khadija:

To defend something is to fight to prevent it from being lost or damaged. I do not see any value in defending my marital status because defending it does not change it for the better or for the worse. This is what I meant about 'security'. It's an unnecessary diversion (in my opinion) to spend time arguing about why I am single and childless with a faceless person in cyberspace who has already made up her mind about who I am. I can accept, though that other bw might find value in that kind of discussion.

----

I am definitely on the same page concerning 'gaslighting'; of course we all should trust our instincts! As my friends and enemies know, I've never been one to stand around while people 'swing bats around my head' LOL In fact, the bat swingers quickly learn that it's really dangerous for them to try that nonsense around me.

That being said, my previous comment wasn't intended to insinuate that bw are crazy to feel attacked or put down in conversations like this -- quite the opposite: BW have ample reason to view certain conversations with a suspicious eye...

My point is, if there is going to be a paradigm shift in the collective conscious of black women, we are going to have to improve our methods of dealing with each other. That's for international bw as well as American bw. I absolutely hate the underlying rancor that I see between these two groups.


-----

As for love...

I am one of those steely types who can accept painful truths about myself, even if those truths come from enemies. However, I acknowledge that many people are not like this. They need some sort of relationship and yes, love -- but not that sappy, cheek-turning, let's-sing-kumbaya type of love... but a proven, tested, through the fire kind of love in which the person KNOWS that you will defend and support them. We aren't going to get ANYWHERE in terms of black female empowerment until we are able to tame the mortal combat that we call conversation and get to a place of cooperation.

Gaslighting is real and pervasive. So is geniune misunderstanding and misinterpretation of people who can and are willing to improve our collective situation. The only way to start to get past #2 is through the kind of transparency that is built on real relationship. We need alliances yes -- but we need relationships as well.

Some of us are very good at sniffing out a backhanded compliment or veiled putdown. To be quite honest, some of us really suck at it. By all means, trust your instincts. But a wise woman will test her instincts against hard evidence now and again, because it might need recalibration in certain circumstances.



Finally, please don't interpret my wish for us to learn to speak in love as an appeal to 'giving people the benefit of the doubt'. I have never believed in that concept -- I believe in looking at the level of love and sacrifice of the speaker and judging their intentions accordingly. I have decided to genuinely love bw, so that I can measure up to a suspicious (but fair) eye and not be found wanting. There are things that I will not say to certain bw because our relationship does not have sufficient currency to pay for it.


Sorry that this comment is so long -- please feel free to edit if necessary

Khadija said...

Lisa99,

You said, " know I'm getting off topic, but I have found that more DBRBM will strike up a random conversation with me, and then in an effort to show their "interest," they'll say, "So why aren't you married yet?"

It puts BW in a very defensive stance, if they aren't prepared for it and don't realize they're dealing with a DBR... and in a way, I can see how some of this helps to develop and add to a defensive stance when someone else tries to discuss the benefits of marriage in a non-judgmental way."


This isn't off-topic. It's all connected to the angle we've started talking about. Predatory men KNOW women's points of vulnerability/insecurity. They know where these emotional "pressure points" are located, and know how to tweak these points to knock the women they want to prey on off balance. You will notice that the Internet Ike Turners and Ikettes also use this "you/she ain't got no man" pressure point to attack various BW.*

[*As if they have any way of knowing what's going on with a stranger's life. Especially if that stranger chooses not to broadcast the details of her personal life. It reminds me of how a few random Negroes that I refused to date in college thought they would hurt my feelings by accusing me of being a lesbian. LOL!]

A sister that did a series of YouTube videos ("Ask Alexyss"---warning she's extremely vulgar and graphic) mentioned this point in her "Church Predators" video. As she explained: Predatory men know women's weaknesses better than most women know themselves!

This is why BM predators have scoped out churches as prime hunting grounds. They know that many BW go to church looking for solace because they're hurting. They know that BW are more likely to let their guards (and panties) down quicker with a Negro who pretends to be a "God-fearing man." They know that these hurting BW in these churches are desperate to believe that they (the BM predator) is a "God-fearing man" sent to them by God.

The predators know ALL of this and use this knowledge to their advantage in sexing and then discarding a series of BW in church. Incidentally, this sort of thing is the reason why my friend's church has BANNED dating between members of the church's singles ministry.

So, yes, those of us who are promoting marriage should be cautious about not sounding like this DBRBM line of attack when we're "spreading the gospel" about the benefits of marriage.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Shecodes,

You said, "Some of us are very good at sniffing out a backhanded compliment or veiled putdown. To be quite honest, some of us really suck at it. By all means, trust your instincts. But a wise woman will test her instincts against hard evidence now and again, because it might need recalibration in certain circumstances."

Yes, I agree that calibration is a good thing. It seems to me that the way in which most AA women's "radar" is malfunctioning is that they've been programmed to redefine attacks on their persons as something other than attacks. So, at this point, I would prefer for BW to err on the side of being self-protective.

You said, "My point is, if there is going to be a paradigm shift in the collective conscious of black women, we are going to have to improve our methods of dealing with each other. That's for international bw as well as American bw. I absolutely hate the underlying rancor that I see between these two groups."

I agree; and I will do my part. But as far as the undercurrent of rancor between international BW and AA women, that's not a priority for me anymore. Now, I'm all for anybody who's all for me and mine.

But I'm not going to do handsprings and cartwheels to try to heal any generalized rift between AAs and foreigners of any kind (this includes between immigrant Muslims and AA Muslims). [I'm NOT saying that you ever suggested such. I'm just saying what I'm not going to go out of my way to do.]

Since this topic has come up, let me explain why I'm not prioritizing healing any rifts between AAs and anybody else who came here to our home.

Let me give my preamble:

Shecodes, I respect you and the work that you have done for BW. This is not about you or any other discussion participant here. I'm just stating my perspective on this particular topic.

First, AAs are sitting here in our own home/country minding our own business. It's not on me or mine to do flips to accomodate guests who come to our home with attitudes. It's on the guest to watch their manners while they're in somebody else's house.

I used to care deeply about the "rift" between different Black ethnic groups. I don't care so much anymore. I've decided to take a page from every other group on this planet and worry about MY group [AAs] first and foremost.

Whoever is doing right by us is okay with me. Across the board, regardless of color, race, etc. Whoever is messing us over is an enemy as far as I'm concerned. Across the board. Regardless of color, race, etc.

No more Black passes. No more passes of any kind for anybody.

Khadija said...

Part 2

If nobody else is going to stand up and protect MY people, I WILL. And I'm going to put my own "tribe's" interests FIRST, before I start to worry about others. Just like everybody ELSE does.

Very, very few AA voices are dedicated to AAs first and foremost. Most AAs (our misleaders included) are speaking for anybody and everybody.

AAs are looking out for the interests of self-proclaimed "Don't You Dare Call Me Black" biracials. BW come onto AA blogs to promote and protect the interests of biracials, biculturals, multiculturals, and Cablanasians. AA women are screaming about Darfur and rape in the Congo.

Some AAs are truly DERANGED, and publicly crying the blues for illegal Mexican immigrants.

For there to be at least ONE place where AAs (and specifically AA women and girls) COME FIRST is what all of this is about for me.

There are all sorts of parasites getting fat from taking advantage of AAs in general (with our idiotic cooperation). There are all sorts of parasites getting fat from taking advantage of AA women (with our idiotic cooperation). All of that has to stop. The first step is to tell the truth about what's going on.

My bottom line about any rift between AAs and immigrants of any sort (including immigrant Muslims) is that:

If it wasn't for the AA Civil Rights Movement (and its impact on the the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965), large numbers of foreign Blacks (and immigrant Muslims) wouldn't even BE in this country to have a rift with AAs or anybody else here.

Prior to AAs' Civil Rights Movement, White Americans were quite clear about keeping foreign Blacks (and other non-Europeans) OUT of this country. Prior to our civil rights movement, Whites made sure to keep the vast majority of such persons OUT!

Full stop. Period.

THIS one fact is my starting point for any analysis of any rift between any type of non-European foreigner and AAs.

And in terms of the immigrant Muslims, it was AA Muslim pioneers like Elijah Muhammad's NOI members and others who paid the price that made it possible for these people to wear hijab at work, at school, etc. His follwers WENT TO PRISON over sending their children to the private, Muslim schools that his group founded (the Sister Clara Muhammad schools).

This, plus the fact that after AAs like myself screamed and protested to help get Nelson Mandela freed, we never heard from Nelson anymore. To my knowledge, there were NO joint business ventures as a result of AAs supporting South Africans' liberation. That experience left a very nasty taste in my mouth.

The only African leader I can think of who EVER did anything concrete for AAs was Muammar Qaddafi the ARAB. This was when he gave $5 million to Min. Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.

This lack of reciprocity is AAs' own fault for being gullible fools. NEVER AGAIN.

The moral of this story is that I have resolved that I will NEVER AGAIN support any foreign issue without some sort of reciprocity up front. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I believe that we must ALL demand reciprocity now! Across the board. From everybody.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

22!? who the hell marries at 22??

When, I urge young bw to ***POSITION*** themselves early in their 20s (or earlier) toward marriage, I'm DEFINITELY not encouraging bw to get married at 22! I just want to make that clear. Also, this advice is only intended for those bw who actually WANT marriage. LOL!

As an old-school AA southern women, let me point out that since we were expected to get married, black teen girls (of a certain class--Oops--did I say "class"? LOL) made decisions all along that kept their path to marriage open. For ex.,they guarded their reputation; they put emphasis on looking attractive at all times in public, they behaved with decorum at all times in public, they behaved towards men in a friendly, polite, and definitely flirtatious manner (towards appealing men especially) or were never crude or rude towards men at all. As a result of my upbringing during that time, I can flirt bigtime with any man because I saw girls and women doing this all the time around me. It was just one of the main ways that women reacted towards men. I'm talking about ***mild*** flirtatious banter which included 'come hither' body language, but not licking your lips or anything overt. ALL men react positively towards a flirtatious woman. If I, even at my age, started flirting with an 18 year old male, he is going to respond positively towards me. Males are wired in this way.

However, it seems--from the notes I get from bw--that this is a lost art.

Old school bw (of a certain class) were subtle, but focused on uplifting themselves. There have always been more than enough DBR males of all types around women of all groups. Period. However, we were taught to stay away from DBRs. PERIOD. And were PUNISHED in various ways if we didn't. Old school black people did NOT have pity parties for DBR males. Too much was at stake. They didn't excuse them because ALL black people dealt with the blows of racism. ALL of us.

Old school black mothers warned their daughters to stay away from loser men, who they did NOT hesitate to call "NO GOOD." So, young bw (of a certain class) were NOT confused, as so many bw are today.

lisa99 said...

This isn't off-topic. It's all connected to the angle we've started talking about. Predatory men KNOW women's points of vulnerability/insecurity. They know where these emotional "pressure points" are located, and know how to tweak these points to knock the women they want to prey on off balance. You will notice that the Internet Ike Turners and Ikettes also use this "you/she ain't got no man" pressure point to attack various BW.*

WOW Khadija, I never thought of it like that... and people always thought I was being oversensitive too when I'd get upset by this, saying that I needed to get over it.

Gaslighting, I tell ya!!

And now that I think of it, the three times that DBRBM did this were at times when I happened to be in a position sharing my accomplishments.

1. At the airport (O'Hare baby!) during a layover from a study trip to Europe, and I told the man that the trip fulfilled my master's degree requirement.

2. During an event where I was the featured "expert" on a specific topic in my field on a radio show. The DBRBM was a friend of the radio host... who was about to marry a white woman.

3. When I was outside of a store collecting money to run a marathon for cancer research.

All times, I was presenting myself as a BW doing something positive in a professional, educational or other field... these DBRs were also single and older than me... hmmm.

Thank you Khadija for breaking this down! I'll know how to handle these situations in the future if they happen, and temper my pro-marriage message to not come off like one of these predatory men.

Evia said...

BUT! I have known many black girls at my own institution that were NOT the "nothin but a black man type" and were still unable to get a date.

I hear this comment a lot and before I say anything further, let me say that I know that ***some** wm are not asking bw out due to straight up RACISM, but racism is nothing new. And I certainly have NEVER advocated that bw mingle with racist wm.

But the following factors are areas that AA women are going to have to address and work diligently to change.

1. Bw shooting themselves in the foot with their mouths/keyboards. Bw broadcast too many self-destructive, self-defeating messages and it's assumed by folks who hear these messages that many other bw agree. For ex. I continue to read variations of the comment: "I don't want no white boy!" or "I'm not attracted to wm." These proclamations are deadly because wm know that the comment expresses the sentiments of countless other AA women. Also, typical AA women say and do NOTHING to counteract these proclamations. If there were ww making these same kinds of deadly proclamations about the undesirability of bm publicly, even bm who worship ww would never approach ww. Therefore many wm genuinely DO NOT BELIEVE that a typical black woman is interested in dating wm. Wm write to me asking me whether bw "really" like them. Also wm have lots of other choices of women, so they don't need to dig deeper to see how pervasive these sentiments are among bw.

2. Many bw are "CLOSED" to WM. Thanks for that term, Halima. It's something I notice all of the time. Bw are not friendly and flirtatious towards wm. The fact is that MANY bw are not friendly and flirtatious towards ANY man. I know WHY this is the case, but I'm talking about the "WHAT." How many of y'all can just be in the supermarket produce section and make a casual comment towards a wm who also standing there? How many of y'all can smile at a wm and engage in lighthearted banter with a wm? And wm have lots of other choices of women who ARE friendly and flirtatious towards them.

3. Many bw are still not comfortable with wm liking the way ***some*** bw look: big behinds, dark skin, tightly coiled (aka "nappy" hair) etc.

4. Many bw these days have self-esteem issues derived MAINLY from their "black" upbringing. Many bw obviously STILL see themselves through the eyes of damaged bm who worship euro looks/beauty and have decreed that "it's euro looks or nothing!" Therefore many bw CANNOT believe that wm see them as desirable women. Many of these women write to me with questions about their hair, skin shades, noses, lips (well not so much now that Angelina has made "big" lips sexy), etc. Yes, I realize that racist wm started the "black women are not beautiful" MYTH, but it's racist AA men who have carved this in stone in the minds of typical young bw and continue to reinforce it.

Many AA women need to just drop everything and get away from the bc and damaged black social circles as fast as they can because they cannot free themselves of these negative perceptions of themselves as long as they're around other blacks who have accepted these negative perceptions as facts. This is CRITICAL. For ex., I consider my West-African featured looks to be quite attractive and this has been constantly reinforced by mainly African and white men who've constantly told me this and shown me with their TREATMENT of me that I'm desirable. I've mostly mingled with African and white men throughout my dating life. It's very clear to me that if I'd mingled mostly with AA males, I'd believe I'm unattractive, just as so many West-African featured young AA women do.

Karen said...

Khadija,

Eloquently stated and I agree 100%. I have traveled to many countries and it was up to me to "adjust" to the customs and culture of the host country "not the other way around".

We as AA's have always born the brunt of fighting for what other groups so casually enjoy today - WITHOUT reciprocity.

It is a new day.... Either be prepared to offer something in return for my assistance or accept that you will have to fight that battle ON YOUR OWN.

KM said...

@ Anonymous August 28, 2009 3:20 PM

I was one who posted about my experiences at a PWI and being able to date outside of my race, mainly WM. I graduated 3 years ago in 2006 but things haven't changed.

My questions are:

1. Are you at a southern PWI, like Bama, Auburn, Ole Miss?
Odds are against WM/BW IRs but are still doable. Which segues into #2..

2. What is your circle of friends? Is it nothing but fellow BW or is it a varied mixed group of friends?
In my case, by the time I hit the spring semester of my sophomore year, for reasons I can't post here, most of my friends were a racial mixture. I noticed that since I was open to having friends who weren't black, non-black men were more open to asking me out. Not to say that's a complete given, a BW I know who was president of her chapter of AKA and had mostly black friends married a WM too. But when you hang with mostly BWs, it can lead ppl to think that you're only down for the BC and BM.

3. And to piggy back Evia, do you have a constant screwface on or do you smile, talk, and be polite to everyone?
I'm from the city and I do walk around with a screwface most of the time to discourage DBRs from approaching me, but I've made an effort to smile, be nice and polite to non-DBRs I see on the street.

4. Are you open to going to events outside of the BC?
My core group of friends right now is mostly BWs with several WW and LW mixed in (about 10 of us). And when we all get together, we may go to an African dance performance, First Friday art gallery events, St. Patrick's Day parades, a jazz club, a tapas place, literally anything and everything. Just going to places outside of the norm, it can be terrifying at first, but not only will you broaden your horizons you may meet a worthy man there as well.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "Old school black mothers warned their daughters to stay away from loser men, who they did NOT hesitate to call "NO GOOD." So, young bw (of a certain class) were NOT confused, as so many bw are today."

Exactly! Or as my Dad put it: "NO social service projects! Young ladies MUST NOT involve themselves with individuals who are social service projects!"

I also 100% co-sign your subsequent comment about the "approachability" factors "that AA women are going to have to address and work diligently to change."

__________________________

Lisa99,

You said, "WOW Khadija, I never thought of it like that... and people always thought I was being oversensitive too when I'd get upset by this, saying that I needed to get over it.

Gaslighting, I tell ya!!

And now that I think of it, the three times that DBRBM did this were at times when I happened to be in a position sharing my accomplishments."


You're welcome! Yep. DBRBM use this line of attack to break BW's spirits in general, and in particular to break high-functioning, quality BW down to a more "manageable" (for the DBRBM) size.
_________________________

Karen,

You said, "It is a new day.... Either be prepared to offer something in return for my assistance or accept that you will have to fight that battle ON YOUR OWN."

{raised fist salute} Yes, indeed...that day of being gullible, exploited fools is OVER.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tertiaryanna said...

@ Evia

"Many AA women need to just drop everything and get away ....They cannot free themselves of these negative perceptions of themselves as long as they're around other blacks who have accepted these negative perceptions as facts. This is CRITICAL."

This is 1000% true. I think that for AA women who are open to dating interracially, being in an environment that tells them that it's wrong or that they don't have a chance to succeed can really limit their choices. I agree with what you said here:

"As a result of my upbringing during that time, I can flirt bigtime with any man because I saw girls and women doing this all the time around me."

And it also explains some of the "shooting in the foot behavior." If a young BW is in an environment where she is learning skills that hurt her chances, it may undermine the fact that she really is openminded to dating other groups.

And if you add those women who did not see normal M-F relationships, there may be a gap in that "home schooling" that will also undermine her views.

The first case is adding in negative skills, the second is the deletion of positive ones. And because there is a difference between knowing what you want and knowing how to get it, a person can create a situation that really doesn't reflect what her thoughts are on the IR dating issue.

I am completely unsurprised that there are AA women that don't date at PWI's, because I think there are groups of people (whom I'll generously call unenlightened) who, if they are the dominant voices in the group, can help foster a campus culture where IR dating is really difficult to achieve.

Physical distance may be unachievable or unwise once the person is already matriculated, so it's critical to be able to create a mental distance or barrier from viewpoints that are damaging.

rdb30223 said...

Hi Khadijia,

Your recent post has really been a major eye-opener for me. I had attended a HBCU from 1999-2003,and the female to male ratio was 35:1. My graduating class only had 53 males. Because of this shortage, I didn't date during my four years of college. If I had known of the male shortage at HBCUs, I probably would have attended a PWI. I wasn't naive about the male shortage; I didn't hear anything about it. I am very appreciative of you, Evia, Halima, and other black women bloggers who continue to uplift and encourage black women in general to look out for our interests first and foremost. Please keep up the good work!

Evia said...

If a young BW is in an environment where she is learning skills that hurt her chances, it may undermine the fact that she really is openminded to dating other groups.

Anna, this is why I think younger bw really, really need to be writing on this topic. For ex., I have no idea of most of the types of skills younger bw are actually learning--the ones you're referring to that hurt their chances. Some women do write to me and say they don't know how to flirt. Is that what you mean?

It's virtually impossible to teach someone how to flirt via a blog, however with a video, it could be done. Some of y'all need to be producing videos like that for young bw to watch instead of them watching all of that garbage on Youtube.

And if you add those women who did not see normal M-F relationships,

This is something else that puzzles me a lot. There are many places where women could learn normal M-F interaction like in old movies and in old TV reruns. For ex., even if you watch the "Andy Griffith" show reruns, you see men "courting" women there. Quality men in 2009 "court" women in much the same way. If you watch the way the character "Helen" (Andy's girlfriend) relates to him, I relate to my husband in much the same way. Darren relates to me much in the same way Andy relates to Helen. Many people still relate to each other in that way. And Yes, many blacks relate to each other in that way, but not the ABCs and definitely not the DBR black folks. To these 2 groups, that "normal" behavior is considered "corny" because folks in both of those groups are constantly trying to "act" like grotesque ***caricatures*** of black people. I've lived for decades and I've never met "normal" black people who these caricatures are based on. It's like going to an insane asylum and copying the behavior of people in the asylum. It's so weird. And for someone to accuse me of not being "black" because I don't behave like that is at the height of the tragedy.

For ex., I heard last week that it's common for some young bw (ABCs and DBRs) these days to call each other "b%$#h" as if it's a term of endearment and what was even more shocking was that their girlfriends answer to that term! I guess that since I'm a "black" woman, I'm supposed to call you that and you're supposed to be okay with that? SMH

And in terms of bw going out places and getting out of the "black" zone, Darren and I go many places and don't see ANY bw there. For ex. 1st Friday was mentioned. We go to 1st Fridays in 2 urban areas where there are sizeable black populations. I rarely see any bw there, and there are lots of wm, for sure, walking around unattached.

roslynholcomb said...

@KM, I attended a small PWI in Alabama back in the early eighties. Because of my major I hung out with mostly politically active white guys of a progressive bent. They invited me to be a little sister to their fraternity and I agreed. (No, this didn't go over well). These guys were my true to the death friends. They gave me a place to stay when I didn't have the money to pay my board and they gave me transportation to and from my job more than 30 miles away. I pledged AKA as well, but I only went to parties at the white frat houses. They had free beer live music and they'd actually ask you to dance. At the black frat parties if you didn't fit a certain phenotype you were ignored. I didn't date IR at time, I didn't really date at all. I was working full-time and going to school fulltime, but I was asked out quite a bit.

On another message board someone said that a black girl wouldn't be allowed into a white frat party at Penn. I thought that was strange, it was certainly not a problem at my school, but it was small, so I asked my husband who was a TKE at Auburn. He was like, What? An attractive girl is always welcome at a frat party. That's the whole point. Even if the guy at the door doesn't find you attractive he's figuring that maybe she has a goodlooking roommate. (Guys!) So, I'm really not sure about other schools, but I can speak for at least two; Auburn and Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Because my school was in such close proximity I spent a lot of time at Alabama and had no problem fraternizing with the brothers of my fraternity. Would they have inviting me to be a little sister at the UA? Probably not. The machine is very powerful there, and there are definite lines of segregation, however they always made me welcome and I made good friends.

Now, it's been over 20 years since I was in school, but I find it hard to believe that things would have changed that drastically. I'm not going to lie, frat parties can get kind of wild and you definitely need to mind your business. I was fortunate because the brothers (LXA, not black guys) looked out for me, but they're no more dangerous than any other groups.

Karen said...

@Evia,

You said "...this is something else that puzzles me a lot. There are many places where women could learn normal M-F interaction like in old movies and in old TV reruns."

This is exactly what I did, my role models came from seeing a certain actor/actresses from the 40's and 50's as to how they interacted. Later closely observing non-BM couples (old and young) up close.

Later when I started actively dating, I conducted myself as a lady and was treated as a lady. Even the old-fashioned, open and close the door, helping me in an out of a car, pulling out my chair to sit down, etc.

I cannot imagine having the word "b**ch" being used as a term of endearment and I certainly would not allow myself to be treated as something of no value.

To be treated as lady, one must act/behave as one....and accept nothing less.

=========================

I also think there is an overall problem due to the so-called "sexual revolution" which in my opinion left many women holding the bag. What was deemed as "sexual freedom" often has resulted in the idea of "getting to know someone first" before sex becoming obsolete. This has left many young women being treated as nothing more than vessels to be exchanged versus being seen as person to develop a meaningful relationship. For BW women, coupled with all the other challenges, this also plays a role.

I admit that this is a sweeping statement but in my opinion there is truth in it nonetheless.

KM said...

@rosylnhoscomb

Interesting, sounds like you had a lot of fun despite your job and everything. I only mentioned Bama, Auburn, Ole Miss because of stuff like "the machine" and that old Southern aristocracy thing that some Southern people still subscribe to.

By the time I was a 2nd semester freshman, I used to hit the white frat parties all of the time because of free beer and two of my closest friends were in a sorority and I always tagged along with them. Plus, the black frat parties were filled with either the sister sorority, groupies, and/or people looking for trouble.

As for the black girl not getting into a frat party at Penn.. I didn't go to Penn but I live close to Penn and I can believe it. Just because Penn is in the North and in a city doesn't mean its not racist. Most of the kids who go there aren't from the city and are very wealthy, upper class, hardly around any minorities and if they are, they are Asian.

Oh yeah, I love LXA and TKE! They were the most down to earth guys and TKE had one of the best houses at my PWI..

tertiaryanna said...

@ Evia

"There are many places where women could learn normal M-F interaction like in old movies and in old TV reruns. "

This is excellent advice.

Some women do write to me and say they don't know how to flirt. Is that what you mean?

Yes, that's part of what I meant.

@Rosalyn
On another message board someone said that a black girl wouldn't be allowed into a white frat party at Penn. I thought that was strange... so I asked my husband who was a TKE at Auburn. He was like, What? An attractive girl is always welcome at a frat party."

This is the effect of negative propaganda. You did the homework to double-check it, and found out that it was untrue, but for those who don't check (or who check by asking others in the propaganda mill,) the lie is maintained. So there are some who will just not go to that frat party or interact w/those brothers because they're believing the lie.

This isn't meant as an excuse for condoning to continue to believe a lie, but if a negative message is out there for long enough, it can be potent.

Sharifa said...

Hey Khadija, thanks for the great post. I've been reading faithfully, but haven't been able to post a response for a while. Thanks for raising this topic (and encouraging marriage) and making clear that we AA need to be mindful of our boundaries and expect reciprocity from others.

It's really sad and scary what is going on at HBCU's. I wanted to attend an HBCU, but didn't because of out of state and travel fees and the fact that that I didn't have relatives that I was close to in the area. (Given the fact that I'm from California, and have come to really believe there are strong regional differecnes, I'm not sure that I'd be happy at an HBCU, anyway) Sadly, I didn't really date at my PWI. Looking back on it, I think that it was due in part to being in my nothing-but-a-black-man phase, even though I didn't think of it that way explicitly. I was fully expecting to meet a bm partner.

My PWI had a black recruitment and retention center (I participated a bit in freshman year, but they seemed unfocused and unproductive to me). In reading the comments, I think that maybe there should be some infrastructure (either inside or outside) of schools to support bw students to get the most of their educational experience (including socially), and teach them how to avoid the pitfalls. Maybe bw alumna could do this.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Sharifa:

My PWI had a black recruitment and retention center (I participated a bit in freshman year, but they seemed unfocused and unproductive to me). In reading the comments, I think that maybe there should be some infrastructure (either inside or outside) of schools to support bw students to get the most of their educational experience (including socially), and teach them how to avoid the pitfalls. Maybe bw alumna could do this.

My reply:

It would have to be outside of the schools, it seems to me, because I can't see the black student groups on the campuses or even the black alumni/ae groups doing this through official channels.

It seems a number of us have gone to PWI. Glance at the equivalent of your black student recruitment center, do they list gender ratios? Does the admissions office? Does the registrar's office?

It seems to me that the black student support and alumni offices tend to hide this sort of issue or play it off as something the administration need not be worried about, meaning that in their view, they need only keep the number of black students up--admitting them and hoping they stay in. Outside of providing an environment for socializing, they don't care about gender imbalances among the students.

By ignoring the gender imbalances, they are selling the story line of previous generations when there was less of a gender imbalance, thus contributing to the mythology that all the bw will be able to find their prince. Some do, but not all.

They will not want to "air the dirty laundry" and tell what is going on. Moreover, to even address this openly among the students would lead to bloodletting of the usual type that some young women bloggers have spoken of in addressing these issues on their campuses.

The answer, I think, is word of mouth, the "stealth" strategy of the "underground railroad".

Khadija said...

rdb30223,

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words; I truly appreciate it.
_________________________

Sharifa,

You're welcome! In my view, there will NEVER be any sort of official "programs" to warn incoming BF students of the pitfalls that we're discussing. This is due to all of the reasons that PioneerValleyWoman mentions in her reply to your question.

Let me continue the thought:

I believe that it's safe to assume that there will NEVER be any official programs of any kind that look out for AA women's strategic interests. At best, there are/will be programs that play act picking up the pieces after something horrible has happened (such as support groups for BW who have already been infected by HIV, etc.).

We're going to have to assume the responsibility for warning our sisters ourselves. NOBODY else is going to do this. Help is NOT on the way! A good place to start is to warn the college-bound teenage girls in our own families. Then expand to warning our friends' college-bound daughters. Then further expand outward.

As I've mentioned before, ever since the Dunbar Village Atrocity and Aftermath snapped me out of my prior Black Nationalist trance, I've been giving copies of various bloggers essays to the other BW at work, etc. Several of them have given them to their daughters. And their daughters have been discussing all of this among their friends.

As Pioneer Valley Woman stated, this has to be a word of mouth, underground railroad. We have to assume the responsibility of being BW's Underground Railroad conducters in our own spheres of influence. NOBODY is coming to AA women's rescue.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


I kind of had a feeling that this post would have to do with HIV/AIDS and HBCUs.

All of the posters have raised really good points.

One thing I wanted to add was sexual assault and rape that may occur at HBCUs.

I know that there are some women who swing from the ceiling to get these BM, but I recall an incident a while back where a student(s) were raped at Spellman and the Morehouse reaction was to defend the indefensible.


I have an acquaintance who attended a HBCU in my town who told me that phone lines were routed in such a way that you always got the campus police - instead of the local police.

Khadija said...

Aphrodite,

Yes, there is always the threat of sexual assault. This threat exists on ALL campuses and in ALL settings.

With the Geostrategy Nerd posts I try to point out dangers/trends that are NOT so obvious, and are NOT being discussed within AA circles.

I'm still trying to digest several of the readers' comments. I'm always amazed to hear detailed examples of how far down conditions have sunk for AA female college students. The idea of going through 4 years in college without a single date is unimaginable to me. The idea of having to go off-campus in order to get (actual) dates (instead of hook-up offers) is unimaginable to me.

It's distressing to find out about this. It's even more distressing to think that THIS state of affairs is becoming accepted as "normal" by so many AA female college students. Meanwhile, the White, Latina, Asian, and "Cablanasian" girls all around them get to have the NORMAL female college experience of being able to test all sorts of waters by having a steady supply of dating experiences. {still shaking my head}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

g-e-m2001 said...

"this has to be a word of mouth, underground railroad.

@Why? Says who? Black women control he majority of the resources in the Black community, we just don't control the institutions within the Black community. Yes, the underground railroad was underground, but it was built on infrastructure of safe houses. Before Harriet Tubman could find her way and lead others to freedom, someone had to build the various circuits of safe houses.

Yes, we have to continue to spread the word because far too many people don't know and aren't aware, but I don't think its out of reach to either remove anti-Black women power brokers from power, or create your own institutions.

There is no reason why you should have to be printing out individual essays, we have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be publishing 10 books a month, running 5 national television shows through barter syndication, and deciding at least one seat in the US house of representatives.

When I say all this, I am preaching to myself as well to kick it up a notch.

Or you could be right. I remember the Parable of the Talents where the protagonist started out spreading her word to the masses, but as a result she came to the attention of those in power and she lost everything; her husband, her child, her own body. After that she shied away from groups and large gatherings and decided to build her movement through word of mouth. She went from attempting to establishing a home to becoming nomadic. Her message eventually spread that way.

BTW her brother ended up betraying her... because he was bitter and felt entitled to.

Khadija said...

G-e-m2001/Gina,

Actually, you've answered your own question: I believe that the reason why we need to function as a word-of-mouth underground is because we are insurgents. More specifically, we are insurgents who currently lack the infrastructure to go directly toe-to-toe against these various anti-BW strongholds.

This can change if/once we get more of an infrastructure of our own in place; but I believe that it would be premature to fight these strongholds as if we were equally entrenched when we're not.

Trying to fight toe-to-toe as armies before they've created an army's infrastructure is how many guerrilla groups got themselves destroyed over the years.

You said, "There is no reason why you should have to be printing out individual essays, we have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be publishing 10 books a month, running 5 national television shows through barter syndication, and deciding at least one seat in the US house of representatives.

When I say all this, I am preaching to myself as well to kick it up a notch."


Yes, I'm working on creating my end of this type of infrastructure (which is why I'm on the computer). You're working on creating your end of this counter-infrastructure. But none of this exists and we don't have any of this in place yet.

You said, "Or you could be right. I remember the Parable of the Talents where the protagonist started out spreading her word to the masses, but as a result she came to the attention of those in power and she lost everything; her husband, her child, her own body. After that she shied away from groups and large gatherings and decided to build her movement through word of mouth. She went from attempting to establishing a home to becoming nomadic. Her message eventually spread that way.

BTW her brother ended up betraying her... because he was bitter and felt entitled to."


Yep. I believe that all we would accomplish with direct, toe-to-toe resistance at this point is to prematurely FOCUS the various anti-BW strongholds' attention on us.

You can imagine their lines of attack regarding this issue: They will wrap themselves in nostalgia for what HBCUs used to be while they scream: "These horrible, 'sell-out' BW are trying to destroy our legacy! They're trying to destroy the schools that produced Dr. King, etc.!" Never mind that Dr. King graduated from Morehouse 60 years ago. Never mind that these schools have morphed into life-DAMAGING and threatening places for young AA women.

And right now, many AAs are confused and ill-informed enough to have the knee-jerk reaction of falling for that nonsense. They don't know about the HIV/AIDS spike at HBCUs. They haven't thought about the effect that the HBCUs' extreme gender imbalance will have on their baby girls' social development. They're totally clueless about all of this, and inclined to rally around nostalgic memories of what these schools used to be.

So, all of the above is the reason why I currently have the modest ambition of waking up individual parents with the question: "Is THIS what you want for YOUR baby girl?" God willing, in the future we'll be able to sustain larger initiatives.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

sistrunkqueen said...

Ladies

If we are talking about HIV in HBCU we need to also warn young black women about Herpes in the PWIs also. I have a doctor friend who says that Herpes is very much on the rise in the white community too. It is a disease that keeps on giving. If you watch those valtrx commercials who do you see in them? White couples!

Khadija said...

Sistrunkqueen,

Folks need to protect themselves from STDs across the board.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Jamaican Gyal said...

Hello Khadija,

Although I understand the sentiments of your post, I disagree with you.

I attended Howard Law School and have nothing but good things to say about my experience there.

I would encourage Black women to go to any school that meets their needs. Keep your legs closed and focus on your education. If you have to get down, make sure you protect yourself from AIDS and STDs.

But don't forgo attending Black schools just because of Black men.

I met friends at Howard that I will have for life, and got a first rate education, which has led me to a wonderful career.

As to the argument that attending HBCUs may hinder one's ability to interact with the majority culture, I haven't found that to be true. Like most Blacks in America, I am sure that HBCU graduates understand that we are a minority and will have to work professionally in the majority culture. That's just life.

Also, there were White professors (and other non-Black professors) at Howard Law School, as well as quite a few non-Black students.

Anyways, great post, but I must disagree respectfully. Take care!

(By the way, I LOVED your post about gaslighting, and have even rented the movie).

Khadija said...

Jamaican Gyal,

RESPECTFULLY, what you've done in your comment is a good example of the the "straw man" technique that I discussed in one of the Table Talk For Activists posts:

"Misrepresent your opponent's argument into something that's weaker and easier for you to rebut. Spend all of your comments responding to this fake, straw man argument, and NOT to anything your opponent actually said." [Not that I consider you an "opponent."


You said, "But don't forgo attending Black schools just because of Black men."

Nobody said this.

Let me repeat key parts of what WAS ACTUALLY said during this conversation. Here's what I said:


"Here's the equation:

Gender imbalance that favors BM students at HBCUs---

+ the resulting increased amounts of mansharing by BF students on these campuses

+ Washington, DC replacing San Francisco as an HIV/AIDs capital (so dating BM from off-campus in DC is also HIGH-risk given the epidemic conditions there)

+ the inherent homophobia of the AA community, particularly the Black South where the bulk of these HBCUs are located

+ the resulting increased closeted, "down low" behaviors by a percentage of BM students who might feel freer to self-identify as gay/bisexual if they weren't at HBCUs

+ a spike in HIV infection rates among Black students that was briefly reported on in 2004

+ fewer "degrees of social separation" between AA college students/graduates and HIV+ jailbirds and drug addicts

= HBCUs becoming HIV/AIDS magnets and centers!"


Here's what a reader said:

"I will agree it is not a conducive environment for establishing relationships. Many women (including me) end up dating men from the local area rather than men from campus -- and THAT comes with a whole 'nother set of issues."

Khadija said...

Part 2

Here's what another reader said (in part):

"Honestly, the same problem is going on at PWIs (I attended one), its just greater at HBCUs. I went to a BCS football school and the percentage of black students was close to 5% of the total student population and the female/male ratio was 60-40. (Mind you, the overall female/male ratio was 46-54 in favor of men.)

So, if you wanted to date in the BC (which I didn't because even though I didn't know of the BWE blogs back then, I DID know who was asking me out on real dates (WM) and I chose that over being asked out to hook up (BM)), and once you took out the out gay men, there were 3 women to 1 man. Then the men who were already dating out, that reduced the number to 4 to 1.

So women were competing to see who could do splits, hang on the ceiling fan, anything to keep a black man."


Here's another thing that I said:

"This situation at the HBCUs also has the side effect of SIGNIFICANTLY reducing a BF student's odds of positioning herself to get a "MRS." degree just before or just after graduation (which is what so many WW and AW do).

A female college student's male PEERS and most of the relevant social life is on campus. In addition to the disease-ridden social network angle, why send one's daughter to schools where the odds are AGAINST her being able to get decent dates, much less make serious strides toward her MRS. degree?

The situation on these HBCUs is totally destructive of a young BW's opportunities to position herself meet and MARRY a QUALITY man. Why go there?

... Here's the SIGNIFICANT difference between the 2 scenarios: On HBCUs, BF students are marooned with no real dating alternatives other than the BM students that they outnumber. Meanwhile, at PWI there ARE literally thousands of other men to choose from---there ARE alternatives---that is, if these young women would simply drop the "nuthin' but a BM" programming."


Keeping one's legs closed DOES NOT address the fact that the situation on these HBCUs is totally destructive of a young BW's opportunities to position herself meet and MARRY a QUALITY man. Friendship is good, careers can be nice; but marriage is ALSO very important. And being marooned at these gender-imbalanced HBCU has an extremely negative impact on a young BW positioning herself to be in line for marriage.

You said, "As to the argument that attending HBCUs may hinder one's ability to interact with the majority culture, I haven't found that to be true."

More straw man. NOBODY said that. Again, instead of responding to what was actually said, you're responding to something that you pulled from the air.

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

Peace, blessings and solidarity.