BWE Messaging Doesn’t Make A BWE Messenger

Hear me out audience (I wrote this post a few days ago but am posting it today). As the original blogs that addressed the ways black women have been mistreated by black males and interpersonal relationships gained traction the initial pushback served to generate more interest. So like feminism there’s been a 2nd wave, 3rd wave and so on of newer bloggers adding facets to the conversation and expanding this social movement.

I am happy to participate in the BWE initiative. No, we don’t all think alike or have the same agendas. Some are also mostly focused on interracial dating and marriage because it’s the inevitable logical conclusion for those women to choose men globally, irrespective of race. Other bloggers include various aspects by matter of importance to their forum.

This is why it’s good to get an overview of several blogs, find out what resonates based on where you are at during that time in your life and use what will work for you in that moment. Some of the messaging may go over the heads of some women because it’s not a perspective they share. Some we may disagree with. At the end of the day, it’s your life and your choice.

I do think we have to be willing to take some responsibility for what we write and consider who may be reading our conversations. Everyone isn’t a friend. Some people are very vulnerable. We may need to adjust posting criteria or comment moderation accordingly. That is, based on how we define who our core audience is. Many of us may share certain readers while some of us have none in common.

We can have a respect for one another but that doesn’t guarantee solidarity per se. We may also be so enthusiastic to read the contributions of other bloggers we may presume we’re all in agreement about every detail. I mention this for a few reasons. One is to make sure one’s backside is always flanked. The other is to make sure you haven’t unnecessarily exposed yourself by making assumptions.

Since this came up as part of a conversation at the Sojourner’s Passport Don’t Stop Tell The Whole Truth It’ll Set Your Free post,  I had to add my two cents. This links back to a conversation by blogger Von at Von’s Black Consciousness. You can read the posts and comments but one of the comments that stuck out for me was regarding the focus of a blogger. The BlogMother can speak for herself, but it is my understanding that What About Our Daughters is not nor ever has been a “Black Women’s Empowerment”-specifically identified blog. This is why we must always leave room in trying to identify people and causes.

Certainly the defense of black women and girls is a powerful message and one that was met with a lot of heat from those who didn’t like being exposed. In fact, Gina’s blog was the first one written by a black woman I’d read and seeing the mistreatment of black women laid out so clearly was initially shocking in light of the utter silence in the (dead) black community.

By the time I continued my search through the blogosphere and found Evia & Halima’s blogs and others I was already primed for continued exploration of these memes when launching my own forum. I don’t always identify myself as a BWE blogger either – though I support the message of uplifting black women wholeheartedly. Shades of grey people. Shades of grey.

My first posts were more politically-oriented because in 2008 that was a big deal and I lived in San Francisco where there’s always a scheduled protest. I was on my way to finding similarly-minded women though because I had already noted how a “person of color” had specifically stated he didn’t believe in diversity when it came to ensuring equal representation and inclusion of blacks. I was livid at the time, but I get it now.

The push by our black male misleaders for integration and rainbow coalitions was all about their abandonment of blackness (women and children) and they had opened the door wide enough so that anyone could come in, take what they wanted (black women’s resources) and leave. As long as black women continue to blindly support these males and their causes without demanding reciprocity we are leaving ourselves in a vulnerable position across several fronts to be taken for granted. To say the least.

I want women to step out on faith so they will have all the love they need and their best lives possible. That’s why I named my blog Acts Of Faith In Love and Life so it will continue to evolve. That may encompass any message or ideology. That also means it’s not one size fits all, but there are some common basics that must be met. We in the blogosphere will simply not always agree what they are.

There’s a blogger who has discussed strategies for black women to divest who ridicules the idea of African-American ethnic pride and recognition. There are some bloggers who regularly seek to encourage black women to live well or attempt course-correction but have invited the participation of others onto their forums who don’t have an established track of doing so. I, of course wholly disagree with tying any trans woman or intersex woman into conversations regarding the potential othering of (cis gender) black women as I don’t think focusing on them addresses our core problems. Of which there are many. Reciprocity swings both ways after all.

Since we’ve already discussed this on Facebook two weeks ago I’ll also add that while I can appreciate Von’s contributions and can see the clear influence of the BWE blogs, the messaging differs greatly for several reasons. I’m in no way trying to disparage the work of that blogger but I must identify key discrepancies that should not be missed.

This is where age and life experiences come into play I’m certain, but also a serious consideration of the overall “big picture” agenda we “need” to have that black women be free to choose what serves their best interests even when those interests are not our own. That includes the uncomfortable explorations into dating globally, being fit, losing weight, not encouraging out of wedlock/never married status as the norm and a host of other topics that have varying levels of contentiousness based on where the blog host as well as the reader is coming from.

In order words we have to take everything equally seriously but always with a grain of salt. Some of us may never meet. We have to do what we think will help us sleep best at night if we feel so compelled. Others are simply not that invested. Oddly enough, that may or not may be a bad thing. We each have our own lives to lead and have our own journeys and destinies. We will carry on the work though.

I have to add a few thoughts below

Black Conscious Thought

I’m not sure what that is exactly but isn’t the purpose of empowerment to free ourselves from labels such as these? We’re trying to get black women to stop thinking of themselves in terms of race first and to stop being race women. If it’s either the blog host’s mindset or the purpose of the blog to keep others thinking “black”, that means BW will not be positioning themselves globally. Not to mention that by no means guarantees any race or ethnic pride or healthy self-esteem.

The liberal use of foul language is a huge negative  –

Haven’t we also had discussions about how black women need to be more careful in their public presentation? My blog posts tend to be very wordy because amongst other things I read posts aloud. I like the feel for syntax and nuance and sometimes you get a better read by speaking. Not to mention the fact that I can’t share posts with young girls if they have to be bleeped out. It is not a feminine image for black women to display such coarseness publicly.

The underlying rage indicates a tie to the DBR/No Value Black male

I can read the frustration and pain at that blog, which I found more than a year ago and why I don’t frequent it. It’s very centered on what black males are (not) doing. When the comment section is littered with black males who do not want to take any responsibility but the blog host still actively engages with them. When the blog host mentions she’s going to marry a black male (congrats!) and is not actively encouraging black women to expand their dating options to include all men. She can correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the distinct feeling she finds the idea unappealing.  This is why we must sometimes put our individual thoughts aside for the greater good and overall messaging of positioning black women across all spectrum. Especially those outside our comfort zones, but I know she is a younger blog host.

It speaks to a lack of certain experiences we all need to have eventually if we are to live our best lives. There has to be a logical progression in these conversations so that women can move forward and not stay mired in the “dead” black community.

24 comments to BWE Messaging Doesn’t Make A BWE Messenger

  • Halima: Faith we know about the reprobate bw who have become one with/embraced the dysfunction as normal and a way of life that should be preserved not changed (in fact looking to engage more bw in the lifestyle!), and are fighting from this angle!

    Bella: That horrible! Wth is wrong with these DBW (damaged black women)? I came into this blog late so I think I missed the NWNW but judging from the title alone I can see the message and it's something I 100% agree with. DBW have no respect for themselves which is one of many reasons why they chase after DBR men. They'd also have to assume major responsibility for themselves which is something DBRs and DBW alike run away from.

    Halima: sometimes it is the ‘enemy’ of your work that tells you how important it is and its potential by the way they respond to you when you are blissfully unaware and are just putting one word in front of another, doing what you feel compelled to do.

    Bella: 100% cosign

    Felicia: Most black folks, the men and women and sadly many adolescents are already gone. And they’re going to stay gone because black culture itself enforces this unhealthy dead state.

    Bella: This is what frustrates me and saddens me about my generation. With the onslaught of gangta rap, video hoes, wanna be pimps and get money b****s it sad to see that this is what most of younger AA people are striving to become just because there is money involved. I won't lie, I've been down that road. It left me depressed to the point of being suicidal (which has never happened before or since). Things have gotten so bad that even programs meant to uplift young folks and tell them they are so much better than "the hood" don't work. I have a friend I've know for 10 years (who I'm sad to say is one of these DBRs though he is Puerto Rican) who is book smart beyond belief. Unfortunately trying to convince him that he is better than the drug hustling bad boy is hopeless. Some people just have it stuck in their head that they are no-good and don't deserve better. There is nothing you can do for someone like that.

    Please visit my blog at: http://through-bellas-eyes.blogspot.com/

    I don't have much written as of yet but these post are just my thoughts on some of the topics I've read about lately. Bright Blessings

  • Faith said

    Similar to how the lack of support, half-hearted support and outright sabotage from those who went after NWNW, of which one of my readers who’d thanked me for uplifting BW earlier, whom I’d met in person and thought we might collaborate on a project lied about wanting to support NWNW in order to get information so she could attack it!

    Faith we know about the reprobate bw who have become one with/embraced the dysfunction as normal and a way of life that should be preserved not changed (in fact looking to engage more bw in the lifestyle!), and are fighting from this angle!

    I want to add that there is another set of bw who think that BWE bloggers, have happened upon something fancy, something that will make us the next 'black elite' or something, the next ‘go to‘ for black leadership (smh), that we have found the 'track' that will put us in the front in these little 'status games' that black folks got going on while the house burns down.

    Khadija spoke about black businesses and how black folks do not support these, in fact subtlety sabotage them. I think there is a similar sentiment here. In their calculations you have achieved some 'successful' business model tapped into a strong zeitgeist. the next thing then is to react just as Khadija highlights that black folks react to black business/concerns; crabs in a barrel, resentment that you and not them have figured out ‘a way’ , just not wanting to see another black person do something meaningful no matter the cost to others!

    sometimes it is the 'enemy' of your work that tells you how important it is and its potential by the way they respond to you when you are blissfully unaware and are just putting one word in front of another, doing what you feel compelled to do.

    you will notice that many agree with anything up to 80% of the message (even the bits they wish they didn’t). yet they are nit picking over flimsy points and blocking others from the message they know is the most realistic message they have come across lately. This is how deep their resentment goes of the fact that you happened upon something they didnt.

    The saddest thing is anyone can be a BWE activist or writer or etc.

    • Faith

      Halima: You said: …I want to add that there is another set of bw who think that BWE bloggers, have happened upon something fancy, something that will make us the next ‘black elite’ or something…
      ***
      I certainly didn't "happen upon it" like I won the freakin' lottery or something!! This takes a willingness to accept unpleasant circumstances and deal with them!

      I hadn't thought of it that way or even as a "success" angle for other to tear down. I've just been very eager to find out if there are others who might share core philosophies for uplift and follow through with them and have been bitterly disappointed at the reality. I still have to build a personal and professional infrastructure and it's not an easy task. I almost have had a Cypher moment (from the Matrix) where he wants to be put back inside so he never knows just how bad it really is (minus the betrayal actions of his character of course).

      People are so dense!

  • Faith,

    I 100% cosign what Felicia and Evia said in response to your most recent comment.

    NEVER forget that most AA women—to varying degrees—are indoctrinated zombies. Dangerous zombies who are looking to take you down with them.

    One must be very careful in the presence of zombies. One can't expect to have normal interactions with them because they're not normal. They're undead creatures.

    As Felicia said, "Just like the black construct lacks cohesion and is therefor in disarray. A lot of BW also lack cohesiveness which makes advancement of the group in possible.

    People make their beds and then they must lie in them."

    That's exactly right. One of the flaws of liberation theology is its blind spot about the nature of many poor people. Some people are poor solely because of their OWN chosen behaviors. It's not always about external, structural oppression. And so it is with AA women. Just like most AA consumers are incapable of responding appropriately to quality Black-owned businesses, most AA women can't respond appropriately to free good advice coming from another BW. AA women with that type of attitude need to live in a hell pit because that's all they're open to experiencing.

    Their personal "hells" are self-maintained (with help from the other people who benefit from their suffering). You can't—and shouldn't try to—break somebody out of a cage that they prefer to live in.

    The person who tries to be helpful (while keeping her OWN safety and interests in mind) is NOT responsible for what BW zombies do or don't do. The zombies are already dead. It's best not to cling to them or the memory of them.

    Faith, I would strongly urge you to do whatever works best for YOU. And take care of YOU. First and foremost! :-)

  • I never got the impression that Von was a BWE blogger, and I actually think that is a good thing. It shows that the BWE message is catching on. It is almost similar to the way principles of Black Nationalism and the NOI (self reliance, ethnic pride and self respect) caught on in the black community even though the folks involved may or may not have been hard core "believers" of the ideology.

    For example, some recent pics of Kelly Rowland walking arm and arm with a WM popped up on a gossip blog and I was impressed with many of the comments. I assume it was mostly young BW and girls commenting but for the most part they were saying that BW have a right to explore their options and that having all this "loyalty" to BM has been fruitless. When the occasional DBRBM would pop up and call Kelly a sell-out or some other name, many of the female commenters shut him down, LOL! That alone tells me the BWE message is spreading.

    (Sidebar: Why do so many DBRBM spend time on gossip blogs??? I thought those were primarily for women but they love to troll on these forums and spew their vitriol about BW. What functional male likes to spend his time gossiping?)

    Anyway, this is a good thing. Someone who may be turned off by the "radical" nature of BWE blogs may respond to something said on Von's blog. Or maybe they have read a BWE blog and are still absorbing the material when they see the comments in support of Kelly Rowland on that Gossip blog and they finally begin to connect the dots.

    In business they say it take on average 12 "touches" before a person is likely to act on a new idea or concept. Reading one of your posts is a "touch." Seeing pics of BW celebrities living well and dating/marrying from the global village is another "touch." Von's post is another. A political blog that talks about the way the NAACP threw Shirley Sherrod under the bus (After 4 months, she is STILL unemployed as a result of that witch hunt) is yet another. All those touches add up.

    • Felicia

      Amaka,

      This is WONDERFUL hopeful news about what's taking place on these black celebrity gossip blogs.

      Thank you so much for sharing this good news.

      Like you said, those touches are adding up with some BW and most importantly YOUNG BW.

      Some of these sisters are going to make it.

  • Faith

    I have a few overall thought to everyone who has commented:

    While I've reached the "Acceptance" portion of the journey I am not indifferent to the negative ramifications from walking the path of the liberated and empowered black woman so to speak.

    There was a big difference between understanding these tenets when I was living in geographical area and had limited contact with blacks (and even my relatives) and having that change.

    I will further elaborate in my Monday post, but suffice it to say this year has been a huge eye-opener. Those women who've traveled further along the path or avoided the indoctrination to begin with have been able to make successful transitions and provisions for themselves. It's almost like writing about these things in theory where you can experience them being played out but are not personally affected by them.

    In part, because of the nature of some of the work that I do, having attended numerous conferences and being in a city with a much larger black population, as well as meeting some of my readers I've had to walk a fine line.

    One of the biggest disappointments I've experienced is related to the way BW blame, have attitudes towards each other and have outright attempted sabotage to me personally over having this online forum and for a few times where I've been outspoken. This is how I knew some of what I'm doing and others are having an impact. The outrage comes from black women, whom in our most honest intentions are trying to help! Much more than random black males.

    Similar to how the lack of support, half-hearted support and outright sabotage from those who went after NWNW, of which one of my readers who'd thanked me for uplifting BW earlier, whom I'd met in person and thought we might collaborate on a project lied about wanting to support NWNW in order to get information she she could attack it!

    There is also the lack of protection from some bloggers at their own forums for the most vulnerable readers who may not be commenting. It males me think about how few will make it and how unwilling most are to actually follow through with BWE messaging to the end. It's a lonely ( and perilous) road to travel in that sense.

    Who are we supposed to share our questions with, bounce ideas off and test the limits of our faith in ourselves if we have limited or no support in making these necessary changes? When people want to lop off your head for the very mention of things?

    Where's the progression (be it circular or logical?) So while I've dodged rocks thrown at me, taken rocks out of shoes and have thrown a few at people while on my path, I find myself at the bottom of a mountain that I have to climb over to get to the other side.

    Perhaps, I can find a secret passageway through it or a way around it, but it's there and I have to surmount the problem so I can continue on my own path. I do try to keep in mind the big picture, I do not want to feel that I can't speak my mind about things in my own forum with the pioneer bloggers either.

    It is very frustrating to see so many BW stop short in connecting all the dots and being resentful of those that do. I can't move along my journey any faster either even as the overall goal is for full liberation as well.

    We can theorize and even be correct in our assessments but that doesn't mean we and others get to skip living it and having to negotiate through it.

    It was a bit ironic how I started off a post about "my BWE message" this week only to present a need to reevaluate everything, but I think constantly questioning and evaluating is necessary to stay "honest".

    I thank everyone for their feedback and support.

    • Felicia

      Faith,

      If you need to take a break by all means do. Remember, you have to look out for number one (yourself) first and foremost all of the time. As we all should be doing.

      I know it's hard but try not to get too emotionally invested in all of this.

      Yes, only a few BW are going to make it partially out of stuburnous, an inability to admit and correct their mistakes, and like Halima correctly said, an unwillingness to quietly take in useful information without feeling subjugated/talked down to.

      None of that needs to be your concern anyway. You've already done your part -- and touched lives for the better -- if you close shop tonight. And that goes for all of us. The BWE bloggers and us readers who've regularly commented.

      We've laid the foundation. There's a public record. BW who come across it can do with it what they wish.

      Our concentration, energy, and emotions must stay primarily focused offline. Because that's where life is lived.

      I pray that you will retain your energy for YOU Faith. It's simply not worth getting worked up about these people and situations you have no control over.

      You've described some unfortunate backstabbing behavior which can be infuriating, disappointing and tiresome. But again it just shows you that a certain percentage of BW (perhaps the majority) will never get it or appreciate someone and a movement really concerned about the well being of BW as a whole. And because of these personality flaws, a large percentage of BW will continue to suffer. Just like the black construct lacks cohesion and is therefor in disarray. A lot of BW also lack cohesiveness which makes advancement of the group in possible.

      People make their beds and then they must lie in them.

      On the positive side, individual BW who have reached the acceptance point and are ready to move on CAN be reached and encouraged and that's enough from my perspective.

      Take care.

    • Evia Moore

      Faith, in the "Acceptance" phase, there are 2 major parts: the intellectual part and the emotional/spiritual part. These two must be meshed and if a person has truly accepted, they've reconciled these two parts. I concluded intellectually about 15 years ago that it was all over for at least 2/3 of African American women and at least 90% of AA men. Those estimates have increased over these past years. I base this on the major social indicators. I know this sounds dismal to some folks, and I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I am not a magical thinker.

      However, I still had to deal with my myriad EMOTIONS intertwined with these folks, "MY folks" and actually let them go. I could be wrong but it seems that you're wrestling with those emotions now. You know these folks are gone, but you just can't quite yet mesh the intellect with the emotions.

      It's hard for all of us if we ever cared passionately the way so many AA women tend to do. It was hard for me, but I did it because it's pointless and harmful to me and mine to hang on to zombies--the walking dead. Too much of my time, energy, and other resources were being focused on zombies. Also too many zombies will keep trying to get you to keep investing in them. I invested in them, but I noticed that no matter what, they never changed. And zombies can inflict great harm on others if given the chance and the vast majority of them will do that because they are already gone. They look like they're normal, but they actually dwell in a mutated state. This is the part that so many AA women cannot grasp. It's not the fault of the zombies and it's not fair, but life has nothing to do with fairness, as I've kept repeating. I know this sounds melodramatic and I'm not blaming them (because who would willingly choose to be a DBR/ zombie). But it is what it is. These various DBRs/zombies are MUTANTS. Many of them never had a chance to be NORMAL.

      Also, I'm fortunate that I don't ever have to be around them. I only go around zombies when I choose to go around some of them, like when I go to church. And since I can't make them normal, there's no point in allowing them to harm me and mine. That would be supremely foolish.

      This is why I've suggested and written about Intentional Communities for bw who plan to survive and thrive. If those bw who are still alive and mostly functioning (those in that shrinking 1/3) do not go into virtual social seclusion, they are going to continue mingling with the zombies. These zombies are going to continue to extract, crush, or kill parts of their spirit. If you spend more than a minute around them and don't recognize them for who they are, they ARE "having their way" with you.

      Now, this morning, I'm going to get ready to go to church and mingle with the zombies there. LOL! I'm really enjoying singing in the choir there. But I never forget that the overwhelming majority of them there are zombies. They scream and pray ever Sunday, all to no avail because they don't know that they're zombies. They won't face that and as Halima pointed out in Khadija's current comments, one of the most futile, stressful, and even sometimes dangerous things an aware AA person can do is to try to GIVE (for free) another AA good advice. Many of them become resentful, vicious, and will turn on you.

      Anyway, zombies can be interesting to study. But they don't have their way with me BECAUSE I know what they are. I am immune to them, but this is exactly why I do NOT allow my children to mingle with them.

      As Felicia has advised: Do what's best for YOU. And I echo that. Save yourself.

      • Felicia

        That's true what you've said Evia.

        You must be able to detect these lost souls right of the bat. That way you don't get emotionally invested or get your hopes up high expecting a miracle.

        And by ALL means keep your children away from these mutants. That's GREAT advice. I do the same with my sons because I love them.

        Most black folks, the men and women and sadly many adolescents are already gone. And they're going to stay gone because black culture itself enforces this unhealthy dead state.

        It's been this way for decades. I meshed the two states (intellectual and emotional) immediately, because I was never invested in/trusted black people outside of my family, personal friends, and associates to begin with. I noticed even when I was a child that when going out for large family functions at establishments, my family was one of the few -- and sometimes only black ones -- intact.

        That right there gave me a clue that something was seriously wrong.

        Now I'm not perfect (no one is) and have made exactly two mistakes in the past regarding black DBR's. After those two negative experiences I swore never again. And the truth is the damage was there clear as day but I got involved anyway against my better judgment to not be considered "bougie"/a "bad" "uncaring" black woman.

        But that was many years ago and I've gone on to live a joyful and abundant life.

        So, it's all about learning from those mistakes and moving on. And if I had changed one thing in the past -- even the bad -- it would have changed my future and I wouldn't be where I am today.

        We're all on our personal journey's. IMO we should consider the bad we've encountered as learning tools. We should learn our lesson and move on.

        And always look out for number one.

  • I think Von has an important voice, and no we don't all need to be in lockstep. I hear her saying "Do what is best for you". I rarely curse and yes I think it is unladylike, but her core message is not one of self-sacrifice and that is paramount.

  • Faith

    some further thoughts

    One thing that stands out for me re BWE work is that it is aimed at releasing bw from living within the bounds of the ‘black community commission’, aka the race woman agenda (whether this is to save the race, save black men and black neigborhoods etc etc). indeed bw are pushed to trace out their life path firmly within the confines of a black community mission, with a myriad of automatic blocks and checks that pop up to push her back as soon as she nears and might stray beyond the boundaries in search of her needs.

    I think this is the key 'thrust' of BWE in its purest sense, to 'loose bw and let them go' so to speak! we could say that BWE have come of this mind because the current 'unworkableness' of any mission to salvage the race (given the current conditions and disinterest of bm etc etc).

    i thus tend to evaluate messages against this 'bench mark'.

    Any message that still wants to encircle bw lives within some sort of 'save the race' agenda, i tend to classify as still very much within 'race women' ideology.

    i think what we have in terms of some of the bloggers in question is version 2 or 'update' of the 'race women' framework, and one that is trying to be reasonable about what bw can really achieve (as opposed to the older version which cracked the whip over bw regardless of the untenable and unrealistic mission).

    I think this version 2 actually slots in the middle and completes the continuum between 'race woman' and BWE.

  • First, I've been reading Von's blog for a while now, and I think I can say that she doesn't consider herself to be, nor are most of the messages on her blog BWE. Von was initially a strong proponent of black love, but being a realist she's been able to see that it's impossible to maintain black love when half of the partnership is missing. As I've read her blog over the past 18 months or so, she's gradually changed some of her views. I don't think she will ever be an advocate of interracial dating, though I don't think she's opposed to it as she was initially. Frankly, I don't understand how interracial dating became one of the Articles of Faith of BWE either. Certainly it's an option and one I think many black women should take advantage of, however, it might simply not be possible for some black women, and I don't think that's grounds for excommunication. This evangelical focus on interracial dating is off-putting for many (Including me and I'm married interracially!) I just avoid the Interracialite blogs and keep it moving.

    I feel much the same way about the profanity issue. I've been evolved and empowered for more than twenty years now, yet my mouth can at times be so foul it needs to be condemned. Yet, I've never had any trouble attracting decent, high-quality men of all races. Being a lady is something that is an innate part of who and what you are, and I can achieve that anytime I like. If some of the BWE bloggers think not cursing helps the cause, by all means do so. But that's in no way engraved in stone, or at least it shouldn't be. It does no good to escape one prison of detrimental expectations, only to confine ourselves to another of our own making.

    More than anything I think Von is operating from a point of triage, and having done the same myself I can recognize her views. When you see someone lying on the floor bleeding out from a sucking chest wound, you don't start pontificating on various philosophies and origins of the wound. Job one is to stop the bleeding. Black women are being brutalized in so-called black communities. Job one is to get them and their children out and find some type of support network to keep them safe.

    As some of us keep saying over and over again, we're not all going to speak with the same voice. Nothing comes from that but an echo chamber. Von speaks with a young, hip urban voice that is more appealing to the young women/girls of her generation than many of us ever could be. Evolved and empowered black women will have many faces and speak many tongues, to do otherwise is to smother the movement while its still in its infancy.

  • Hodan

    I agree with both Evia and Khadija, we all have our own audience to speak to and the importance of diverse perspectives. I specially relate to Khadija's comparison b/w Muslim orthodox and NOI. The same way that a Muslim Western scholar (the likes of Oxford prof Tariq Ramadhan) would be much more effective speaker about Muslims from the West….Von and her blog are the voice of the millions of young black women coming out of disillusionment and sista soldering mentality.

    Von, even though I don't relate to a lot of what she writes about, she has a tremendous knowledge and is an effective messenger with words. Th young women I work with would relate to her more than any of the blogs I read, because she writes for those who has yet to reach the 'acceptance' level of the non-existent black community. Von, also as 20 something young black women, she can reach larger audience who are not @ the stage of even thinking about IR dating or marriage. I love reading diverse and different blogs that are about informing if not empowering and uplifting black women and girls.

  • some things to think about here Faith. the fullness of BWE thought system seems radical to the average bw (though it isnt really it is essentially logical). sometimes i do wonder wether half BWE is even more dangerous than full BWE, though i am grateful that the key/core messages of freedom from burdened living for bw is getting out. I guess i am like Paul in the scriptures who said he didnt care why some were preaching the gospel(wether it is to keep him in chains) as long as the gospel was getting out! lol. I guess my fear is that from what we have experinced over these years, BWE isnt a logical path for many bw. the average bw does not move logically from one point to the next as it appears it should happen, instead there are random jumping and then several steps back and some circling for months even years round certain aspects.

    indeed i think that BWE is something you can stand at the beginning and easily see its logical conclussion. it shouldnt thus be so difficult to move along from one point to the other and thus the reason why many bw are not able to move from precept to the next logical precept of empowered thinking, is because they have 'emotional' blocks to various sections of the message.

    i am convinced there are two pillars to the current posture of bw. There are two key things holding bw in the social wilderness. one is bw race dutifulness and the other is bw hard feelings towards whites and white men in particular.

    even when bw 'come out of' their dutifulness (eg when they accept that it is over with bm), they often enter a limbo, a place between places, because of the unresolved hard feelings against whites which means they are stuck and cant move forward to take hold of a fuller life. i see this in a good number of blogs that are hovering near bwe thought. it is the unresolved hard feelings that keeps them 'short' in terms of the full BWE message! it is these hard feelings that they just cant resolve that sees them going back to check wether they can still resurrect the treaty with bm again and again!

    • Evia Moore

      Halima, you've once again succinctly summarized this situation, the common thought system and dysfunctional/suicidal behavior that springs from it of many AA black women for sure when you say:

      BWE isnt a logical path for many bw. the average bw does not move logically from one point to the next as it appears it should happen, instead there are random jumping and then several steps back and some circling for months even years round certain aspects.

      THANK YOU! Meanwhile, many of those who circle for months and years proceed to attack those of us who DO move logically forward. They BLAME BWE/BWIR bw for not sharing THEIR suicidal views/behavior.

      I think this is the key ‘thrust’ of BWE in its purest sense, to ‘loose bw and let them go’ so to speak!

      That's it! And on the man-woman relationship front since I stress MARRIAGE, I want those women to be "loose" to pursue whichever type of love/marriage that is most appealing, fulfilling, and rewarding to them--whether it's love with a black, white, asian, hispanic, or whichever type of man. NUMERICALLY speaking, it's simply much, more more realistic to look mainly at white men. This cannot be argued against by any rational person. But for whichever type of man chosen, there will be either more negative or more positive consequences if an un-vetted or wrong man is chosen. This is the most problematic area for so many black women. They REFUSE to acknowledge the highly probable consequences for choosing the wrong man and want to and do attack those of us who can see from the getgo what those wrong-man consequences are likely to be and say "no thanks" to that choice.

      i am convinced there are two pillars to the current posture of bw. There are two key things holding bw in the social wilderness. one is bw race dutifulness and the other is bw hard feelings towards whites and white men in particular.

      Exactly! And these 2 are actually the same or feed directly into each other. Since they have a death grip on their hard feelings about the so-called "enemy" whites, they work like mules to uphold the black community. However, the real, utter, blinding, searing, burning, roasting pain from this these days is coming from the fact that though they EXPECT(ED) for black men to appreciate their mule devotion and multi-million sacrifices, love them, and choose only them as mates, they can no longer ignore the brutal reality that the bulk of black men DESPISE them and prefer women from the enemy community. Or the typical bm wants black women to be replicas of the enemy women, but with a big butt. LOL! That's the knockout blow right there! That's why a lot of bw are now raging, silently hemorrhaging, grieving, or are stuck in a coma.

      In a twisted way and if this were a military campaign we were studying, I would have to salute black men for their astounding victory. Wow! They completely snookered black women,and they continue to dupe bw as we can see as bw's bodies continue to pile up. This is another reason why the BWE/BWIR bw are attacked and hated on by some of these other bw. They hate/envy us for not being snookered. But many of them actually admire us (I've got many notes to that effect), but some will never be able to admit it. And many bm hate us because we are the only thing standing between them and TOTAL victory at this point. I can easily take pride in being the recipient of that kind of hate.

  • sisterlocgirl

    Interesting post Faith. After giving this topic some thought I think each blog can be classified in terms of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' 5 phases of grief. The 5 phases are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance. Different blogges are at different stages of dealing with the death of the bc if you will, and the tone of each blog is reflective of this fact. As each blogger moves through th various stages of grief the tone of the blog changes as well. The "voice" I hear from you, Khadijah, and Evia are firmly established in Acceptance whereas some of the younger blogs may be at a cross between Anger/Bargaining/Depression. BW who are truly searching for a blueprint to change will continue to search. I just hope they eventually find their way here and to Evia and Khadijah as well. For me these sites are a vocalization and validation of what i've known subconsciously for years about the dysfunction of the bc. For awhile there I thought I was the only one who was baffled by the willing participation in the Matrix/Alice in Wonderland by the bc and folks in it. I for one am glad you ladies are as articulate and committed to providing as many red pills as you can to those of us who have always known something was wrong, but couldn't coherently organize a time table and explanation of this lunacy. Bravo ladies, Bravo!

  • Great post, Faith. When I started visiting BWE blogs back in May of this year, I was absorbing it all and so excited to see all of these individuals who wanted me to live my best life :) Over time, I realized that not every word that came from a site that had a BWE message was applicable to me. Some of the blogs are a bit extreme for my taste (such as the blogger you mentioned that ridiculed AA ethnic pride and suggested divesting to the point of denying heritage.) Some blogs did not share my views on IR dating (the authors would discourage or completely disregard the fact that BW needed to keep their options open to non-BM.) I think it's very important for anyone who visits these sites to always take what they need and leave the rest-they will be a lot better off. Too, it's important to realize that some blogs will be more in line with your thinking than others, even if, at one point, it seemed like they were all on the same page.

    I identify myself as a BWE blogger, but I think my message is more on the moderate side-live well, marry well, have pride in yourself, and help young BW to do the same. It took time to come up with my own philosophy, and it took me coming into contact with opposing views to help me define what I believed and what I would promote. Each of us has our limits, and I like to think that I am somewhere in the middle-not as passive as some, not as extreme as others. I avoid using coarse language-I know that my blog may be a teaching tool for some young girl out there, and I don't want to muddy the message with profanity. In fact, I hope that one day my blog will be a 'primer' of sorts, for all little Black girls to groom themselves into beautiful, elegant, classy, limitless BW. If my blog was tailored strictly to adults, then I would have a considerably different goal and tone to my posts.

    I haven't visited Von's blog, but I will, just because, as I stated earlier, exposure to all views (including opposing view points) helps me define what I find to be acceptable for myself. Even though I'm pretty sure that Von's blog isn't quite my style, there are probably a lot of individuals out there who can at least get exposed to BWE messages and, from there, can define for themselves what BWE means to them.

  • Von

    I do not identify as a "Black Woman Empowerment" blogger…nor have I ever. I even say as much in my about me (that has been there almost from day ONE) that reads….

    "Update…I'm not here to make friends, woo subscribers, or kiss anyone's —. I'm going to speak the truth as I SEE IT regardless of what other people think. If you are reading this on my blog and you do not like what I have to say please unsubscribe and stop reading/following my thoughts. You won't be hurting my feelings by doing so. I am mostly here to rant my frustrations.

    Disclaimer- I am not a therapist.I am only stating my opinion and giving my advice. I am NOT here to empower anyone."

    Never once have I claimed to be anything I am not. I have told my readers time and time again my blog is my muse. It is a place I rant. In doing so I do use foul language and I make NO apologies for it. If certain individuals don't like it they have the option of NOT READING IT! It is that simple.

    Now the reality is some BWE bloggers have linked onto MY blog…not the other way around, which I have no problem with. But what I do resent is this idea that I have some image to uphold because they are doing so. I'm not a role model. I'm not a black woman empowerment blog. I would actually appreciate it if people would take me out of that box. I speak of things that bother me, solutions I think would work, and problems I see. My blogs come from the heart and they are the way I'm feeling at the time.

    Also, my thoughts have evolved to this point. They have not always been this way. Anyone that searches my archives will encounter material that is counter to many of my positions NOW. I have said this too. I won't delete any old blogs because I like to go back and read them at some point.

    It's also worth noting that my blog tends to center around things I have witnessed or heard about in the faux black community. My thoughts don't just center around relationships between black men/black women, but the politics of the day. I am an independent conservative that takes issue with a few black progressives. I enjoy outlining these issues and I will continue to do so. Perhaps my blog will ALWAYS be "black centered" in this regard, but it was NEVER intended to be any source of empowerment to anyone. Again…take me out of that box.

    "It’s very centered on what black males are (not) doing. When the comment section is littered with black males who do not want to take any responsibility but the blog host still actively engages with them."

    Many of these men have been reading my blog from day one. I engage them and they engage me. I will not disregard them or any other black male that comes to my blog with RESPECT. I don't have a problem with people debating my opinions. I don't have a problem engaging in debates. I enjoy debating. It's rare that I censor anyone on my blog. That is not my style. That is not the way I want my blog to go. Black men, even those I don't agree with, are more than welcome on my blog. My issues with black men are with the COLLECTIVE….not individuals. Furthermore, some of the men that frequent my blog have even given me something to think about on occasion.

    "When the blog host mentions she’s going to marry a black male (congrats!) and is not actively encouraging black women to expand their dating options to include all men. She can correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the distinct feeling she finds the idea unappealing."

    Actually I don't encourage anyone to date/marry either way. It is NONE of my business who or what anyone marries. In the past I've given my opinion on interracial relationships, but again as time has progressed I have backed off and evolved to not caring or having an opinion either way. If black women find themselves happy with another race of men I say more power to them. The same with black men.

    One of the problems I have from reading a few BWE blogs is this: There seems to be a common idea that non-black men=Jesus and Black men=SATAN. I know better than this…I've seen enough to know better than this. Though I live in a predominately black city I have seen enough from non-black men to know everything isn't roses with them either. In my opinion it's delusional to think they are beyond some of the very same things we see with black men.

    I'm convinced if we took a group of white men from various religions, nationalities, economic conditions, etc and put them on an island together we would see the SAME survival of the fittest contest take place as we would if we did the same thing with Black men, Asian men, etc.

    At the end of the day MEN are MEN. I don't personally believe the nature of the man completely changes with race. The way they do things might be slightly different, but the ability to commit the act is the same regardless of race. Non-black men cheat, steal, and lie just like Black men. I'm actually planning to write about this on my blog in the near future.

    But again…who or what black women (and black men) date/marry is THEIR business. I shouldn't have to encourage or promote anyone to date a certain way. Love is something that should just hit you…instead of seeking it out based on race. If a black woman finds love with a white man…more power to her. If a black woman finds love with a black man again MORE power to her.

    That's all I have to say.

    Peace!

    • Faith

      I left this response at your blog Von --

      Von,

      I was offline and just approved your comments at my blog since I have moderation on for new posters. If after some time you decide to re-read my post for comprehension you will see that I clearly stated I was in no way trying to disparage you. If you feel that way that was not my intention. Also, my post used one of your blog posts and theme as an example for a larger conversation related to what and how black women may define their place in this world -- but trust me I included the work of several bloggers in that analysis. I also stated that I do not necessarily refer to myself as a BWE blogger either. I never stated you were one or had to be one. In fact that was the point of my post. We don't all fit in one box and we all don't agree on every facet BUT we're at least discussing the condition of the lives of black women and that's important. We simply cannot let the conversations fall short at solutions. If the lives of black women do not improve then all of this is futile. I do realize we have a decade age difference and life experiences between us so take the critique for what it is and with a grain of salt — not as a personal attack.

      If you will note you have a lot of supporters even amongst the readers at this blog and who've commented on this thread. I read your response blog post and will leave it at that.

  • Faith,

    I hear you. I think that as individuals, we all have to deliberately think through what and where our personal "red lines" are. Everybody has to draw their own lines in the sand, according to their own beliefs.

    It's interesting because what you're expressing sounds parallel (at least to me) to the sorts of conversations that go on among AA Sunni ("orthodox") Muslims regarding Min. Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam.

    The NOI holds a number of beliefs that any orthodox Muslim generally find repellent and downright blasphemous. And so, while some AA Sunni Muslims are willing to cooperate with Min. Farrakhan and the NOI on specific projects, other AA Sunni Muslims shun all interaction with NOI members. That is, all interaction that does not involve NOI members conceding that that they've been involved in blasphemy, and that they're not "real" Muslims.

    The sticky aspect of the situation is that the NOI is closer to the "typical" AA person's (unevolved) mindset than what most "orthodox" AA Muslims are talking about. And so, the NOI's preaching generally has much more traction among the AA masses than anything most AA Sunni Muslims are talking about.

    This is because during their outreach efforts, most AA Sunni Muslims are violating one of the community organizing tactics mentioned in Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals:

    "Never go outside the experience of your people." Even though I'm quite sure that I fail at times, I try not to speak in a way that goes much too far outside the experiences of the other AA women that I hope to encourage to seek abundant life.

    Von's and some other AA women's blogs are closer to the current mass (indoctrinated) mindset of most AA women—particularly younger AA women. The negatives that you've mentioned (the cursing, the stopping short of mentioning interracial dating and marriage as an obvious solution, etc.) are large parts of that mass mindset. However, it appears to me that—unlike the "I'm going down with the Titanic and I'm trying to take as many other BW down with me" Ikettes, Race Women, and Sista Soldiers—Von is gradually transitioning away from the worst parts of that dead-end thinking. Not that this is anything Von needs to care about (:-)), but I'm okay with working with BW who are where she's currently at in terms of her stated thinking. I wouldn't have been willing to reference most of her past blog posts because those old posts were totally mired in dead-end thinking (according to my point of view).

    Similar to how past a certain point, I could no longer in any way deal with the "blogger who has discussed strategies for black women to divest who ridicules the idea of African-American ethnic pride and recognition" that you referenced. In several of her statements, that blogger crossed my personal "red lines" about the importance of AA ethnic self-respect.

    Similar to how—from the other end of the spectrum—I have confronted the subsection of some of the BF-IRR blogs' readers who engaged in the same colorist behavior as most AA males. Particularly when these type of women would verbally drool over the children they always described as "beautiful biracial children." I believe that this type of talk is so toxic that it's something I don't want to see or publish at my forum. Because it's rooted in the same underlying hatred of Blackness as that which expressed by Ne-Yo and Yung Berg. The fact that sometimes it's some BW who are talking like that does NOT make that sort of talk acceptable. Meanwhile, until I called them on it, the biracial-worshipping Black women I'm referring to NEVER referred to all-Black children as "beautiful."

    Like I said earlier, everybody has to determine their own "lines in the sand." {smile}

  • Evia Moore

    Faith, several weeks ago, someone sent me a link to a blog Von wrote. I read it and saluted her on what she said over there. It was powerful. Yeah, the language is coarse, but I believe that in time, that will be lessened or eliminated. And she even says that she is developing. Her mind is changing. She is young. If a lot of young bw thought the way she does, there would be no need for any of our blogs.

    I would imagine that she's dealing with the most vicious attacks over there. She can't deliver paper cuts when dealing with those attacks; she has to use a machete. LOL!

    I think she's very grief-stricken about the loss of the black "community." This is a time of GREAT grief for a lot of AA and similarly-situated bw because they see they have no choice but to say a final good-bye to the dream of that "black community." All people don't grieve at the same rate and we don't all behave the same when we grieve. Some cry softly and some pull off their clothes and run around screaming. Some jump off buildings.

    And from what I read, she has found a QLL black man. I'm happy for her. I have certainly never said that a bw should ONLY be with a QLL white man. I advocate for AA women to choose QLL men. Period.

    Yes, she's in a rage against No-Value,DBR black males because this is the greatest foe that a typically-indoctrinated AA woman has ever encountered. The worse foe is the one who lives in your house or in your heart. Many AA women are at various stages of cutting the cord between themselves and those males. Remember that for some of us, there never was a cord, but for others, they were TOTALLY emotionally bound to those males. You can find many bw at all points in between. It's really kinda, sorta hell for those bw now because the truth about the typical AA male is punching them in the face. There is no good hiding place anymore.

  • [...] previously written how everyone who espouses BWE messaging doesn’t make a BWE messenger. The immediate concern on my end was whether the PR Pro had the stomach, stamina and steadfastness [...]

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